Netflix has found two of its stars for their upcoming adaptation of the classic children’s book Matilda, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Also used as a source for this new production is the popular musical, also based off of the novel.
No less of an acting talent than Emma Thompson (The Remains of the Day, Love Actually) will be joining the cast of this new version of Roald Dahl’s 1988 book and she’s bringing along with her in the titular role of Matilda eleven year old newcomer Alisha Weir (Darklands, Don’t Leave Home). Also cast in the new film is Lashana Lynch of Captain Marvel fame.
Matilda is about a whip smart young girl who is sent off by her draconian parents to a school run by the headmistress from hell, Miss Trunchbull. The young girl, undeterred, befriends one of her teachers who goes by the memorable name of Miss Honey. Miss Honey not only pals around with the precocious bookworm Matilda, she also allows her to become more comfortable with her telekinetic abilities.
Director Matthew Warchus – who also directed the Broadway musical version of Dahl’s book – issued a press release saying, in part: “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.”
Producer tee-shirts and complimentary mugs are being handed out to Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner of production house Working Title. Also producing will be Luke Kelly and Jon Finn of production house The Roald Dahl Story Company. Streaming behemoth Netflix will be handling worldwide distribution, sans the UK where those honors will fall to TriStar Pictures which will handle the theatrical distribution of the film.
Matilda looks like a real winner and for this onetime fan of Emma Thompson (a major crush of mine back in the 1990s) it’s something to look forward to. The book previously got the big screen treatment back in 1996 and is now a bona-fide family film classic.