Emma Thompson will officially play Miss Trunchbull in 'Matilda' musical movie

Tom Beasley
·Contributor
·2-min read
Emma Thompson will play the Miss Trunchbull role originated by Bertie Carvel. (Credit: Walter McBride/Corbis/Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images)
Emma Thompson will play the Miss Trunchbull role originated by Bertie Carvel. (Credit: Walter McBride/Corbis/Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images)

Emma Thompson has been officially confirmed as tyrannical headteacher Miss Trunchbull in the upcoming movie adaptation of the Matilda musical.

The character is traditionally played by a man on the stage, with Bertie Carvel originating the role in both the West End and on Broadway — earning an Olivier Award and a Tony nomination.

Read more: Which is the best-loved Roald Dahl movie?

Pam Ferris, of course, embodied the character to terrifying effect in Danny DeVito’s 1996 movie adaptation of the Roald Dahl novel.

Despite rumours that Ralph Fiennes was being considered, Netflix has now confirmed that Emma Thompson will portray Trunchbull, alongside Lashana Lynch as Miss Honey and newcomer Alisha Weir in the title role.

Matilda premiered in its musical form in 2010, written by Dennis Kelly with Aussie comedian Tim Minchin providing the witty, memorable songs.

The show won seven Olivier Awards when it arrived in the West End — a record for a musical, shared with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s behemoth Hamilton.

Read more: Defiant Matilda statue stands up to Donald Trump

Matthew Warchus directed the production on stage and is set to helm the movie, which will receive a cinema release in the UK and head straight to Netflix internationally.

It’s part of the streamer’s new relationship with the Roald Dahl estate, which is also yielding a pair of Taika Waititi animated projects based on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Pam Ferris played Miss Trunchbull in the 1996 movie of 'Matilda'. (Credit: Sony)
Pam Ferris played Miss Trunchbull in the 1996 movie of 'Matilda'. (Credit: Sony)

The author himself is set to be depicted in a movie for Sky Cinema this year, with Hugh Bonneville playing him in To Olivia.

Director John Hay’s movie follows Dahl and his wife Patricia Neal, played by Keeley Hawes, in the wake of their daughter’s untimely death at the age of just seven from measles encephalitis.

Read more: Warner Bros says sorry over The Witches disability row

Meanwhile, Warner Bros released a new adaptation of Dahl’s The Witches last year, which starred Anne Hathaway and received mixed reviews from critics.

There is no release date currently set for the Matilda movie, while To Olivia is due in multiplexes and via Sky Cinema from 19 February.

Watch: Matilda songwriter Tim Minchin worried about Donald Trump impact