Raold Dahl's beloved 1988 novel Matilda is getting an all-new movie adaptation from Netflix and Sony Pictures. Called Matilda the Musical, the movie will be directly based on the popular stage show version of the classic story which has been running in London since 2011. Reportedly, the plan is to first release the movie theatrically and on home video exclusively in the U.K. before then making it available to stream worldwide for subscribers on Netflix. Full details on the deal are still being worked out, and both Netflix and Sony have yet to officially comment on the project.
Matthew Warchus, who has experience directing the stage show, will also be helming the new Matilda the Musical movie for Netflix. Writing the screenplay will be Dennis Kelly, who won a Best Book of a Musical Tony Award as the playwright of the original musical. It's not yet clear if Tim Minchin, who wrote the music and lyrics for Matilda the Musical, will also be returning to work on the movie adaptation in some capacity. Still, in any case, it's likely the musical's best songs will be adapted into the movie. Casting information for the new project also has yet to be revealed.
Matilda tells the story of Matilda Wormwood, a five-year-old girl who discovers she has the powers of telekinetic and uses them to get back at her unkind parents and her school's wicked headmistress. The novel was famously adapted as a theatrical movie in 1996 by director and producer Danny DeVito, who also starred in the movie alongside Rhea Perlman as Matilda's parents with Mara Wilson as the titular child. The movie failed to light the box office on fire upon its initial release, but its reviews were largely positive and it has since garnered a bit of a cult following. DeVito has also teased making a modern day sequel to check back in with Matilda as an adult.
The Matilda the Musical stage show has also proven to be a big hit with viewers, earning worldwide critical acclaim with successful screenings beyond the U.K. This includes a national tour in Australia and the United States with a run on Broadway lasting several years. Matilda the Musical has also brought in a variety of prestigious awards with its various runs, including multiple Tony Awards and Laurence Olivier Awards. Having established itself as a winner with critics and audiences all across the world, the musical version of Matilda getting adapted as a movie is probably a bit overdue.
Back in 2018, it was also reported that Netflix would be adapting Matilda as an animated series for children as well. The deal also includes the rights to other Raold Dahl books, like The BFG and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. As there haven't been many updates on the progress of these shows, their current status on the streamer remains unclear. Still, in one way or another, it looks like we'll be seeing a new version of Matilda Wormwood streaming on Netflix soon enough. This news comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.