A YOUNG Knutsford actress who bowled over Hollywood's best known director Steven Spielberg has won the lead role in his new movie.

Ruby Barnhill has been cast as the new girl, Sophie, in DreamWorks Studio’s film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s beloved classic story, The BFG.

The children’s novel tells the tale of a young London girl and the mysterious giant who introduces her to the beauty and peril of Giant Country.

Academy Award-winning director Steven Spielberg, known for such films as Jurassic Park, E.T. and Schindler’s List, will be leading the project.

“After a lengthy search, I feel Roald Dahl himself would have found Ruby every bit as marvellous as we do,” said Speilberg. “We have discovered a wonderful Sophie in Ruby Barnhill.”

The BFG will be 10-year-old Ruby’s first feature film. She has been acting for two years and is on the books of King Street-based agency David Daly Associates.

“I feel incredibly lucky and so happy,” she said. “Sophie gets to go on this wonderful adventure and I’m so excited that I get to play her.”

Spielberg will begin production on The BFG in early 2015 and it will open in U.S. theaters on July 1, 2016. Luke Kelly, Managing Director of the Roald Dahl Literary Estate and Roald Dahl's grandson, said, “The character of Sophie is one of the most endearing young heroes in Roald Dahl’s stories.

“She is as brave as she is curious and has an innate sense of wonder. Many congratulations to Ruby on landing the role. We hope that making The BFG proves an utterly magical adventure for her.”