While it looked like Steven Spielberg was gearing up to direct Tom Hanks in an Untitled Cold War Thriller based on the true story of American attorney James Donovan, who was recruited by the CIA to negotiate the release of pilot Gary Powers after his U-2 spy plane was shot down over Russia in 1960, it seems he's actually decided on a totally different kind of project first. He will instead jump into the director's seat for the fantasy adventure The BFG (The Big Friendly Giant). The original novel was penned by acclaimed children's writer Roald Dahl. Melissa Mathison will adapt the screenplay. This will be the first time the screenwriter has worked with Steven Spielberg since E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial in 1982. She also contributed to his segment of Twilight Zone: The Movie in 1983 going under the alias Josh Rogen.

Here is the official word from the Roald Dahl estate.

Roald Dahl's much-loved children's classic The BFG is set for the big screen in 2016.

Related: First BFG Clips Introduce Fleshlumpeater & Phizzwizard

Renowned film director Steven Spielberg will direct the new adaptation with Melissa Mathison, who last worked with Spielberg on E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, writing the script. Frank Marshall will produce the film and Michael Siegel and John Madden are on board as executive producers.

First published in 1982, The BFG tells the tale of a lovable, dream-hunting giant and Sophie, the little girl who first spots him through the window of the orphanage where she lives. It has continued to delight audiences ever since its release, and was one of Roald Dahl 's own favorites. In 1989, the story was adapted as an animated TV film.

Said Steven Spielberg,

"The BFG has enchanted families and their children for more than three decades. We are honored that the Roald Dahl estate has entrusted us with this classic story.

The Roald Dahl Literary Estate said,

"We are delighted that Steven Spielberg will bring his inventive genius to directing the story of The BFG and that Roald Dahl 's beloved story and characters will be brought to the screen in 2016 - a year when we will be celebrating 100 years since Roald Dahl 's birth!"

Production of the film is planned for the first quarter of 2015 ahead of a scheduled 2016 release.

B. Alan Orange