The cast of the hit musical Matilda is slowly coming together. Yesterday we learnt that Emma Thompson was joining the ranks as the tyrannical headmistress of Crunchem Hall Primary School, Miss Trunchbull. We also have been introduced to our Matilda in relative newcomer Alisha Weir.
Matilda, which will be streamed worldwide on Netflix and released in cinemas in the UK, is based on the musical that is an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s book of the same name. Thompson and Weir will star alongside No Time To Die’s Lashana Lynch, who was announced as the production’s Miss Honey earlier in the week.
The role will be 11-year-old Weir’s first major role having previously been seen in Don’t Leave Home, an indie horror movie, and the drama Darklands. The casting of Thompson as the antagonist of the piece is an interesting piece of casting, especially as traditionally the musical role has been performed by a man, and back in May last year, Ralph Fiennes was reportedly attached to the role. There has been no comment about the change in direction in casting this character. While I adore Thompson and have no doubt that she will do a superb job, I am sure there will be many questioning the casting.
Matilda tells the story of a precocious and talented young girl who uses her extraordinary powers to overcome her bullies, among them her own family and the school principal. The 1996 film starring Mara Wilson, though not a runaway hit when it was released, has since become a ’90s classic. The musical, which feature original music and lyrics by Tim Mitchin, premiered in the West End in 2011 before going across the pond to Broadway in 2013. The stage production’s director Matthew Warchus is back helming the film.
“Matilda will be an imaginative and fresh retelling of the award-winning musical, Matilda, featuring talented young newcomers, alongside established stars,” said Warchus. “I look forward to introducing this beloved and powerful story to a new generation of fans around the world.”
There is no date for the beginning of production or its release date at present.
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