Matilda: Netflix to produce new movie inspired by West End musical

Roald Dahl’s book was last adapted in 1996 with actor Mara Wilson

Matilda 1996: Matilda dancing to little bitty pretty one

A film adaptation of the smash West End musical Matilda is in the works at Netflix.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Netflix and Sony Pictures are in negotiations to produce the movie, which will be released in cinemas and on home video in the UK and Netflix internationally.

The original musical, inspired by Roald Dahl’s beloved children’s book, revolves around a precocious bookworm who discovers she has telekinetic abilities.

Tim Minchin wrote the show’s music and lyrics, while Dennis Kelly wrote the script. The new film, which will presumably borrow both, will be directed by Matthew Warchus, who directed the original stage musical along with the 2014 film Pride.

The new film will mark the first adaptation of Dahl’s book since 1996, which saw Mara Wilson play the central character in a movie co-starring and directed by Danny DeVito.

While that version was a box office disappointment at the time, it became a sensation on home video and has developed a cult fanbase in the succeeding decades.

In 2018, Netflix announced that they had partnered with the Roald Dahl estate to produce new projects inspired by his works.

Felicity Dahl, Roald’s widow, said in a statement at the time: “Our mission, which is purposefully lofty, is for as many children as possible around the world to experience the unique magic and positive message of Roald Dahl’s stories… Roald would, I know, be thrilled.”

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