Matilda: Emma Thompson to star as Miss Trunchbull in Netflix adaptation of Tim Minchin musical

Lashana Lynch will play Miss Honey

Isobel Lewis
Friday 15 January 2021 07:43
Matilda 1996: Matilda dancing to little bitty pretty one

Emma Thompson will play Miss Trunchbull in the long-awaited film adaptation of Matilda the Musical.

Directed by Matthew Warchus, Netflix’s new version of Matilda is based on Tim Minchin’s award-winning musical, which itself is an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s 1988 children’s book about a young girl with magical powers.

Thompson will be stepping into the shoes of Matilda’s terrifying headteacher Miss Trunchbull, who is known for putting badly behaved children in a makeshift torcher chamber called the Chokey.

Lashana Lynch, one of the stars of the much-delayed Bond film No Time To Die, will be playing the generous teacher Miss Honey, while 11-year-old newcomer Alisha Weir will be playing Matilda herself.

Speaking about the film, director Warchus described Matilda as “an imaginative and fresh retelling of the award-winning musical 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,” he added.

Matilda the Musical was originally a collaboration between Australian comedian Minchin and the Royal Shakespeare Company that was staged in Stratford-Upon-Avon. It transferred to the West End in 2011 and won seven Olivier Awards, while the subsequent Broadway run won five Tonys.

The show’s book has been adapted for screen by original author Dennis Kelly, a playwright and screenwriter behind Channel 4’s Utopia.

Netflix’s casting of Thompson in the role of Miss Trunchbull shows that the streaming service will be making changes to the stage production, as the headteacher is traditionally played by a man in drag in the musical.

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