Two-time Oscar winner Emma Thompson has joined Netflix Matilda the Musical, with the actress ready to play the tyrannical headteacher Miss Trunchbull, a role previously played by Ralph Fiennes. Newcomer Alisha Weir has now also been recruited to play the lead role of the titular talented bookworm. Thompson and Weir join No time to die and Captain Marvel star Lashana Lynch who signs up to play Miss Honey, the kind, inspiring teacher who becomes Matilda’s friend and confidant after taking the gifted youngster under her wing.
This Matilda The adaptation for Netflix will be based on the musical stage version of the classic Roald Dahl story, in which a young bookworm prodigy battles with her parents and nemesis headmistress Miss Trunchbull. Sony is all set to release the feature theatrically in the UK.
Emma Thompson is one of the most recognizable British actresses and is known for roles in, among others Love actually, Save Mr. Banks, and both the Harry Potter and Nanny McPhee franchises. Thompson has been nominated for numerous Academy awards throughout her career and received Best Actress awards for her role in Howards End and Best Adapted Screenplay for her work on adapting Sensation and sensitivity, in which she also played.
Agatha Trunchbull, also known as Miss Trunchbull (or sometimes even “The Trunchbull”), is the headmistress of Crunchem Hall Primary School and the main antagonist of Matilda. The Trunch, a despicable tyrant of the highest order, rules her students with an iron fist and uses gruesome methods to carry out her idea of discipline.
Played with confidence by Pam Ferris in director Danny DeVito’s 1996 adaptation, Miss Trunchball is not the kind of role Emma Thompson is usually associated with and should provide a refreshing take on the literary villain. As for Alisha Weir, the central role of Matilda will undoubtedly be a breakthrough role for the young newcomer.
The hugely popular musical version of Roald Dahl’s story on which the Netflix film will be based has been running in London since 2011 and successfully played on Broadway between 2013 and 2017. The show’s original director Matthew Warchus, whose previous credits include 2014’s Biographical Drama Pride, is on board to direct the adaptation for Netflix.
The writer behind the musical stage production of MatildaDennis Kelly, who won a Tony for adapting the novel, writes the screenplay. The musical play was developed by Australian comedian Tim Minchin, who composed the music and lyrics for the production, which will no doubt also make the leap from stage to screen, along with everything else. During the performance, the show has won several Tony awards and received widespread critical acclaim.
Matilda is just one of many Roald Dahl adaptations heading to Netflix, with a previous announcement revealing plans to bring many of his stories to the streaming service, including an animated Willy Wonka series and new versions The BFG, The Twits, Charlie and the big glass elevator and more. This comes to us thanks to Netflix Twitter.
Subjects: Matilda the Musical, Netflix, Streaming