Matilda: Emma Thompson & Alisha Weir to Star in Netflix’s Musical Film
Following the recent casting of Captain Marvel star Lashana Lynch as Miss Honey, Netflix has confirmed the main cast of their upcoming musical film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s novel Matilda with newcomer Alisha Weir officially taking on the titular iconic role. Oscar winner Emma Thompson (Nanny McPhee) has also signed on to portray the role of Crunchem Hall Primary School’s evil headmistress Miss Trunchbull.
It was previously reported that Ralph Fiennes was attached to play Miss Trunchbull. However, it seems like that the deal with Fiennes fell through and the producers have ultimately decided to differ from the popular UK and Broadway musical play that the project will also be based on which featured the strict headmistress being played by a man.
“Matilda will be an imaginative and fresh retelling of the award-winning musical, ‘Matilda,’ featuring talented young newcomers, alongside established stars. I look forward to introducing this beloved and powerful story to a new generation of fans around the world,” the play’s original director Matthew Warchus said in a statement (via TheWrap).
First published in 1988, the novel revolves around the story of a 5-year-old named Matilda Wormwood, who likes to play pranks on her negligent parents such as secretly bleaching her father’s hair. Other than her parents, the cruel headmistress Miss Agatha Trunchbull is also her biggest nemesis. Although she seems like a mischievous girl, Matilda has promising and high intellectual abilities which are far different from other kids of the same age. The only adult who appreciates and understands her is her teacher, Ms. Jennifer Honey.
Matilda was first adapted into film in 1996 by actor-director Danny DeVito with Mara Wilson taking on the titular role. Meanwhile, Dennis Kelly’s Matilda The Musical has been running in London since 2011 and had also had a successful Broadway run from 2013-2017. The Netflix film will also be helmed by the original show’s director Matthew Warchus.
Based on the hit UK and Broadway musical stage play titled Matilda The Musical, the film will be directed by Matthew Warchus from a screenplay being adapted by the original musical’s writer Dennis Kelly. The Netflix adaptation will also feature the original music and lyrics by Tim Minchin with Working Titles’ Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner serving as producers alongside Luke Kelly for The Roald Dahl Story Company.
Roald Dahl stories have long inspired award-winning feature films and stage productions. But now, for the first time, Netflix in partnership with The Roald Dahl Story Company will bring together the highest quality creative, visual, and writing teams to extend the stories in this first-of-its-kind slate of premium animated event series and specials for audiences of all ages and for families to enjoy together. Netflix intends to remain faithful to the quintessential spirit and tone of Dahl while also building out an imaginative story universe that expands far beyond the pages of the books themselves.