Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical, or simply Matilda the Musical, is a 2022 musical fantasy comedy-drama film directed by Matthew Warchus from a screenplay by Dennis Kelly, based on the stage musical of the same name by Kelly and Tim Minchin, which in turn is based on the 1988 novel Matilda by Roald Dahl. The film, co-produced by TriStar Pictures, Working Title Films, and The Roald Dahl Story Company, is the second film adaptation of the novel, following the 1996 film (also produced by TriStar). The film stars Alisha Weir as the title character, alongside Lashana Lynch, Stephen Graham, Andrea Riseborough, Sindhu Vee, and Emma Thompson. In the film, Matilda Wormwood (Weir), who is neglected and mistreated by her parents (Graham and Riseborough), develops psychokinetic abilities to deal with Miss Trunchbull (Thompson), the ruthless and cruel headmistress of Crunchem Hall School.
A film adaptation of the stage musical was first announced in November 2013, with Warchus and Kelly reportedly attached to return as director and writer, respectively. In January 2020, the project was officially announced, and Warchus and Kelly’s returns were confirmed, as well as Minchin, who revealed he was returning to write new songs for the film. Christopher Nightingale, who had written background music for the stage production, was also hired to return as a composer of the film’s incidental score. The cast was filled out between January and April 2021, including Weir, Lynch, Thompson, Vee, Graham, and Riseborough. Filming took place beginning in May 2021.
Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical premiered at the BFI London Film Festival on 5 October 2022 and was theatrically released in the United Kingdom on 25 November, by Sony Pictures Releasing International, while in the United States, it received a limited theatrical release on 9 December and was available on Netflix on 25 December. The film received positive reviews from critics, with particular praise for Thompson’s performance and choreography. It was nominated for Outstanding British Film and Best Makeup and Hair at the 76th British Academy Film Awards.
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