Netflix's screen adaptation of Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin's Matilda The Musical will open the 66th BFI London Film Festival with an October 5 screening at the Southbank Centre in Royal Festival Hall. Filmmakers and cast are expected to be in attendance.
The BFI premiere will be accompanied by simultaneous preview screenings at movie theatres across the U.K., all ahead of a cinema-exclusive U.K. release December 2 and the U.S. debut on Netflix expected for this holiday season.
Based on the 1988 children's novel by Roald Dahl, the film stars Emma Thompson as Mrs. Trunchbull, Lashana Lynch as Miss Honey, Sindhu Vee as Mrs. Phelps, Stephen Graham and Andrea Riseborough as Mr. and Mrs. Wormwood, with newcomer Alisha Weir playing the title role.
Matilda The Musical follows Matilda Wormwood, a curious young girl with dodgy and absent parents, who is encouraged by her inspiring teacher Miss Honey. But, Matilda's excitement for attending Crunchem Hall is tampered by the discovery that the school is an oppressive place led by the evil Miss Trunchbull.
"What a delight to be opening this tremendous film festival with singing, dancing, green hair and chocolate cake," says Tony winner Matthew Warchus, who has directed the screen adaptation after helming its stage production. "It’s a real honor to be sharing this joyful and empowering tale of a little girl’s courage and compassion at such a prestigious event."
The Tony- and Olivier-winning theatre production was adapted for the silver screen by Kelly, with original music and lyrics by Minchin. Having served as director of both the West End and Broadway productions, Tony winner Warchus returned to direct the Netflix film. Working Title's Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner and The Roald Dahl Story Company's Jon Finn and Luke Kelly serve as its producers. The stage musical successfully played on stages in New York City, New Zealand, Korea, Toronto, and London's West End, where it opened in 2011 and continues to run
The 66th BFI London Film Festival will reveal its full programming September 1, utilizing the format the festival has developed since 2020 for this year's presentation.