We now have our first official piece of casting news for Netflix's Matilda the Musical, and, it is a strange one. No Time to Die star and Voldemort himself, Ralph Fiennes, will play the tyrannical headteacher Miss Trunchbull in this take on the hugely popular stage musical version of Matilda.
This Matilda adaptation for Netflix will be based on the musical stage play version of Roald Dahl's classic story in which a young bookworm prodigy battles with her parents and nemesis headmistress Miss Trunchbull. Sony is all set to release the feature theatrically in the UK.
The original Matilda The Musical stage play also features the character of Trunchbull being played by a man, which should help the casting of Ralph Fiennes make a little more sense for those who have only seen the 1996 family comedy.
The stage musical take on the story has been running in London since 2011 and had a successful run playing on Broadway between 2013 and 2017. The show's original director Matthew Warchus, whose previous credits include the 2014 biographical drama Pride, is on board to direct the adaptation.
Writer Dennis Kelly, who won a Tony for adapting the novel, will be penning the screenplay. The musical was developed by Australian comedian Tim Minchin, who composed the music and lyrics for the production, which will no doubt make the leap from stage to screen along with everything else. The show won several Tony awards and Minchin began to plan a movie adaptation of his production. At present, a shoot date for the Netflix original has yet to be set.
Despite it being slightly jarring at first, Ralph Fiennes is an inspired choice to play Miss Trunchball. The actor is certainly no stranger to playing the role of the villain, having most notably portrayed another magical child's nemesis in the Harry Potter franchise. He has also lent his voice for bad guy duty as Lord Victor Quartermaine in the delightful Wallace and Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, as well as playing Hades, a serial killer named "The Tooth Fairy", and the foul-mouthed gangster Harry Waters in the black comedy In Bruges. So, Fiennes has more than enough experience to throw on a wig and shout at some school children.
The 1996 film, based on Dahl's children's book, has become a treasured cinematic possession for many, and rightfully so. Matilda follows a precocious young girl named Matilda, who discovers she has telekinetic abilities. She uses these abilities to play pranks on her cruel, unloving parents and the sinister headmaster of her school, Miss Trunchbull. The story was adapted by Nicholas Kazan and Robin Swicord and directed by Danny DeVito, who also happened to star in the film as Matilda's father. The film's cast included Mara Wilson, Rhea Perlman, Embeth Davidtz, Paul Reubens, and Pam Ferris.
Matilda is just one of many Roald Dahl adaptations to be heading to Netflix, as it was previously announced that there are plans to bring a myriad of his stories to the streaming service, including an animated Willy Wonka series as well as new takes on The BFG, The Twits, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator and more.
This comes to us from Deadline.