Following in the footsteps of Pam Ferris, Emma Thompson is the latest actress to take on the role of Miss Trunchbull on screen. Netflix revealed its first trailer for its adaptation of Tim Minchin’s musical version of Roald Dahl’s Matilda, and while there is plenty to take away from the short teaser, the one thing everyone wanted to know is how the award-winning actress would be transformed into the fearsome head teacher of Crunchem Hall school.
The new adaptation of the classic story of a young girl with telekinetic powers features the songs of Tim Minchin’s Matilda: The Musical, which originally debuted just over a decade ago in London’s West End, and despite being a Netflix movie it will be hitting UK cinemas on December 2 before it heads to stream on the platform. For the rest of the world, however, it will be releasing straight on Netflix around the same time.
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Now fans have been given a first look at Emma Thompson’s interpretation of Agatha Trunchbull in the final moments of the first trailer, as she is seen in an iconic moment from the book where she dispatches a young student by grabbing her by her pigtails and hurling her across the school yard before quipping, “Someone check if that child is alive.” It is certainly a huge transformation, both physically and in demeanor, to the kind of character Thompson is usually seen as. However, she did play a villain role in Cruella last year, so this could just be a new lease of life for the much-loved actress.
Matilda: The Musical is One of Many Roald Dahl Projects Coming to Netflix
Last year it was announced that Netflix had acquired the rights to the works of children’s author Roald Dahl and would be developing a host of TV shows and movies. While Matilda: The Musical was already in production before that deal was struck, Netflix now has the ability to build new adaptations of other classic stories such as The Witches, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The BFG and more, something that Dahl’s grandson Luke Kelly, who is also managing director of the Roald Dahl Story Company has been happy to be part of. He said last year:
“Our mission at the Roald Dahl Story Company is to share the stories’ messages of hope and of the power and the possibility of young people. We believe being part of a larger company will give us the additional support to continue in that mission. Netflix has agreed to acquire RDSC in a transaction that will build on the success that we have achieved in recent years.”
“These projects opened our eyes to a much more ambitious venture,” Netflix said of the deal in a statement. “The creation of a unique universe across animated and live-action films and TV, publishing, games, immersive experiences, live theatre consumer products and more. As we bring these timeless tales to more audiences in new formats, we’re committed to maintaining their unique spirit and their universal themes of surprise and kindness, while also sprinkling some fresh magic into the mix. We want to say a huge thank you to all the people who have contributed to this great story so far. Looking ahead, we’re excited to continue the close working relationships established by RDSC with existing rights holders, publishing, theatre and entertainment partners, and many others to protect and grow the great legacy of these beloved stories.”