The BFG: Steven Spielberg pays tribute to late screenwriter Melissa Mathison (exclusive)

Steven Spielberg makes a touching tribute to ‘The BFG’ writer, Melissa Mathison.

Screenwriter Melissa Mathison was renowned for writing one of Spielberg’s finest works - ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’. Over thirty years later, Mathison returned to collaborate with the legendary filmmaker on ‘The BFG’ - the final feature film before her death in 2015.

Now, ‘The BFG’ director Steven Spielberg has made a rather touching tribute.

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A new clip from the DVD and Blu-ray release of ‘The BFG’, this small feature with Steven Spielberg pays a heartfelt tribute to scriptwriter, Melissa Mathison. And it’s rather lovely.

“Even though I only really worked with Melissa couple of times, mainly on ‘E.T.’, to bookend our relationship with two stories deeply from the heart of mostly Mathison, you know… ‘E.T.’ might have been my story, but the depth of that story and the way that story was told, came from Melissa’s heart as did ‘The BFG’.”

Melissa Mathison died 4 November 2015 following a battle with cancer.

“Except for a couple of days, Melissa was with me every day on ‘The BFG’ and not once but twice,” he explained. “She was with me that summer when we pre-visualised the entire film, and she was with me the next summer that we actually shot the picture.”

“Melissa and I had been together in life for so many years,” he added. “Our kids have grown up knowing each other.”

Of course, Melissa Mathison had seen great success as a scriptwriter, penning classics such as ‘E.T. the Extra Terrestrial’ as well as ‘The Indian in the Cupboard’ and now ‘The BFG’.

And Steven Spielberg wasn’t the only one who was happy to work with her again.

“Getting the band back together,” said producer Kathleen Kennedy. “That’s what it sort of feels like to have Melissa. It’s a great, great group of people who have all come back together to make the movie.”

The exclusive clip also includes a rather poignant interview with Melissa herself, as she discusses the importance of the dreams which ‘The BFG’ catches in the movie… and why they are so important.

“When they’re in the dream world, Sophie and BFG each catch a dream which will change the life of the other,” she explains. “Suddenly the dreams became something they could do for one another.”

A touching reflection of Spielberg and Mathison’s professional relationship… and there’s even more on the nature of these beautifully crafted dreams in our exclusive clip.

‘The BFG’ stars Mark Rylance as The BFG, with Ruby Barnhill as Sophie. They’re joined by Penelope Wilton, Jemaine Clement, Rebecca Hall, Rafe Spall, and Bill Hader.

Steven Spielberg directed the movie based on a script by Melissa Mathison.

‘The BFG’ is available now on Digital and DVD and Blu-ray 21 November.

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Picture Credit: Disney