Matilda movie

In 1988, author Roald Dahl published Matilda, a book about an exceptionally smart young girl who develops telekinetic powers and thwarts her overbearing and evil headmistress. The story was adapted into a movie in 1996 and a stage production in 2010, the latter of which won five Tony Awards and became a long-running hit.

Now, in a case of the snake eating its own tail, Sony and Netflix are teaming up to adapt that musical version of the story into a new Matilda movie. But it looks like it won’t come to theaters in the United States, and instead will go straight to streaming. Get the details below.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Matilda musical film “will get a full theatrical and home video run exclusively in the U.K. and then stream on Netflix platforms around the world”, although the deal is evidently still being worked out and there are still some questions about how far into the movie’s U.K. theatrical run it will be released on the streaming service. Matthew Warchus, the director of the successful stage musical, will be in the director’s chair for this movie, reuniting with Dennis Kelly, who won a Tony for adapting the novel and is returning here to adapt the musical into a screenplay.

This isn’t the first time Netflix has teamed up with a major studio to make a movie. This deal will essentially be the reverse of what they did in their deal with New Line Cinema’s Shaft, in which they were able to co-finance the movie and then make it available to international streaming audiences two weeks after its debut. And the streamer seems like the logical home for a new Matilda, since they already struck a deal with the Roald Dahl estate to adapt several of his books (yep, including Matilda) into animated event series. None of those has come to fruition yet.

I haven’t looked at a piece of chocolate cake the same way since seeing the ’96 movie. (Poor Brucie.) I also remember being shocked at the time to learn that Danny DeVito (yes, that Danny DeVito) directed that film, and he did a pretty bang-up job with it, too. The movie didn’t perform very well at the box office, but evidently the success of the Broadway production has, as THR crassly puts it, “obviously greatly increased the value of the IP.”

Here’s the (rather involved) trailer for the stage production, which has me really hoping that Warchus decides to open up the visual look in his movie version:

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