Tristar Pictures and Sony Pictures UK have set a December 2022 release date for the film adaptation of Matilda the Musical. Tristar is co-producing this worldwide smash musical with Netflix and retains the rights in the UK. Matilda will have a theatrical debut in the UK, but will be released to the rest of the world on Netflix.
The Matilda reboot will be directed by “Tony and Olivier Award winner Matthew Warchus”, who also helmed the musical for the stage at the West End in London and in Broadway in New York City. The cast includes newcomer Alisha Weir in the title role alongside a cast that includes Emma Thompson as the evil Miss Trunchbull and Lashana Lynch as Miss Honey, Matilda’s teacher. Stephen Graham and Andrea Riseborough will play Mr. and Mrs. Wormwood, Matilda’s parents who abuse her throughout the book.
Matilda is based on a Roald Dahl novel of the same name that focuses on a little girl with incredible telekinetic powers. Clever, curious, and intelligent, Matilda uses these powers to deal with her many abusers in life including her parents, and the wicked principal at her school, Miss Trunchbull. Her teacher, Miss honey, is the only kind and understanding adult in her life who she can seek comfort in. Matilda continues to be Dahl’s most successful novel, selling over “18 million copies worldwide and translated into more than fifty languages.”
Matilda was also turned into a 1996 film directed and starring Danny DeVito, along with Mara Wilson in the lead role. The film received mostly positive reviews and has become something of a cult classic amongst adults who grew up with it. However, the film was commercially unsuccessful, grossing $33.5 million domestically on a $36 million budget. Worldwide, the film grossed around $36.7 million for a total gross of $70.6 million. This film was also produced by Tristar, who holds the rights to this property.
The musical stage adaptation debuted in 2011 in the West End with the Royal Shakespeare Company. It then began touring the world soon after. It won seven Olivier Awards, including Best New musical, along with five Tony Awards for Broadway, in which it had 1,555 performances. The Broadway production closed on Jan. 1, 2017.
Dahl’s novels have led to many successful adaptations on both the stage and the screen. His novel, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, has received two film adaptations and a stage musical in the West End. A Willy Wonka origin musical film titled Wonka is set to be released in 2023, with Timothee Chalamet set to star as Wonka himself. Other popular film adaptations of Dahl’s novels include James and the Giant Peach, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The BFG, and The Witches, which just received a remake on HBO Max starring Anne Hathaway.
Fans of Matilda: The Musical will receive a nice present for the holidays when this film adaptation premieres towards the end of 2022 on Netflix. Fans of the 1996 film can only hope that this adaptation will be just as strange. Hopefully, Miss Trunchbull doesn’t put any other students back in the chokey. This news was originally reported on Deadline.