After news that Captain Marvel’s Lashana Lynch (who, according to legends, will also star in the fabled No Time To Die) was joining Netflix’s musical feature adaptation of Matilda, the streaming giant also confirmed that two-time Academy Award winner Emma Thompson and newcomer Alisha Weir had been cast in their upcoming film.
After adapting Roald Dahl’s 1988 children’s novel into the stage musical back in 2010, Dennis Kelly will this time adapt the stage show book into the film’s screenplay. Joining him is fellow Matilda alum Matthew Warchus; Warchus directed the West End musical and will now direct this feature adaptation. Having raked in their fair share of Olivier’s and Tony’s during Matilda’s West End and Broadway runs, it’s safe to say Netflix’s project is in capable hands.
Warchus had previously said that, “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 story centres on an ultra-bright young girl (Weir) who discovers she has magical abilities and uses them to overcome bullies and protect her school friends. Miss Honey (Lynch) is the sweet teacher who encourages Matilda’s academic prowess and love of books while, in a perhaps unexpected casting decision, cruel headmistress and hammer throw champion Miss Trunchbull will be played by Thompson.
It was previously reported that Ralph Fiennes would be taking up Miss Trunchbull’s mantle, and reasons for the casting change are still unclear. Mara Wilson, who starred in the 1996 Danny DeVito movie as non-other than Matilda, has expressed interest in making a cameo appearance.