Emma Thompson To Play Miss Trunchbull In New ‘Matilda’ Film

emma thompson miss trunchbull

The British icon has been announced as the film’s main antagonist, Miss Trunchbull.

The multi-award-winning British actress Emma Thompson will feature in the Netflix adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s classic Matilda. A far cry from her loveable appearances in Beauty and the Beast or Nanny McPhee, Thompson will take on the role of villain Miss Trunchbull, the cruel Principal of Crunchem Hall Elementary School where the story takes place.

Thompson will join Lashanna Lynch, previously announced to star as Miss Honey.

The film, produced by streaming giant Netflix, will be an adaptation of the award-winning musical of the same name, featuring hit songs such as ‘Revolting Children’ and ‘When I Grow Up.’ It has also been announced that the titular character, who was famously portrayed by Mara Wilson in the 1996 film, will be taken on by young newcomer Alisha Weir.

The appointment of Emma Thompson to the role of Miss Agatha Trunchbull comes as somewhat of a surprise, given that the character is portrayed by a man in the West End and Broadway shows. With this in mind, it was rumoured last year that Ralph Fiennes would be taking on the role of the evil headmistress, however, director Matthew Warchus has confirmed that the role will be female.

Warchus, director of the original Royal Shakespeare Company’s stage production, is joined by Dennis Kelly as the screenplay writer, who also worked on the original musical as the book writer. Tim Minchin, who created the stage productions’ original soundtrack, is also on board for the film adaptation, and will reportedly be writing additional songs. 

The film, co-produced by Netflix and Working Star, does not yet have a firm release date. It was due to film from August to December 2020, but this was inevitably delayed due to the COVID pandemic. Filming is now expected to commence in Spring 2021.  

Words by Matilda Head

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