Quentin Blake’s iconic illustrations for the BFG certainly informed the look of Mark Rylance in Steven Spielberg’s recent movie adaptation.
But the artist has said that he’s not been paid a bean – human or otherwise – in royalties since the movie came out.
“I don’t take any money and run. I’m not offered any, in fact,” he told the Daily Telegraph.
“I don’t know why. I know Mark Rylance is very good and probably he did it very well, but I didn’t see it.”
Blake went on to say that the estate of Roald Dahl was ‘hugely’ compensated for the movie, but ‘I’ve no connection with the film whatsoever’.
Similarly, Blake has not received any additional royalties from the Royal Shakespeare Company, which is behind the celebrated, now touring stage version of ‘Matilda’.
It could be that Blake’s cheque from Spielberg may not be forthcoming; though reviewed favourably, it was a commercial failure, making a pretty dismal $183 million worldwide, which after promotion and marketing costs will mean that it almost certainly lost money.
But Blake says that despite all that, his collaboration with Dahl on a host of books for Penguin from ‘The Twits’ to ‘George’s Marvellous Medicine’, has earned him money over the years.
“They sell so many copies that I’ve done well out of it,” he added.
So far, Spielberg’s Dreamworks nor the RSC has commented on the matter.