Matilda director Matthew Warchus, who is also attached to the project, stated that Kelly will begin work on the screenplay next year, with an eye toward a 2019 screen debut.
The delay in the musical's big-screen premiere, part of a contractual clause, will allow for the stage production of Matilda to establish a larger global presence, according to the musical's producer Andre Ptaszynski. There have been reports that an Australian production is in Matilda's future.
Once Kelly's screenplay is set, he and composer-lyricist Tim Minchin will determine if additional songs are required for the film. Warchus states that the film will retain the dark and mischievous tone of the musical, while expanding on some of the action.
The U.K. hit premiered at the Royal Shakespeare Company's Courtyard Theatre in November 2010 and later transferred to the West End's Cambridge Theatre, where it continues to run. The Royal Shakespeare Company and The Dodgers present the Broadway run, which opened on Broadway April 11 at the Shubert Theatre after previews that began March 4.
Matilda received four Tony Awards, including Best Book of a Musical, Best Featured Actor (Gabriel Ebert), Best Lighting Design and Best Scenic Design.
Check out Playbill.com's highlights from Matilda: