The Netflix/TriStar musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Matilda has earned three new names to its growing cast list. Stephen Graham (Rocketman, Snatch) and Andrea Riseborough (Mandy, The Death of Stalin) have signed on to play Matilda’s parents Mr. & Mrs. Wormwood, as well as Indian comedian Sindhu Vee (Feel Good, Sex Education) for the role of the librarian Mrs. Phelps.
The three actors join the pre-existing cast of Emma Thompson as Miss Trunchbull, Lashana Lynch (No Time to Die, Captain Marvel) as the generous and gentle teacher Miss Honey, and newcomer Alisha Weir in the starring role of Matilda Wormwood.
The project’s adaptation is dominantly based on the Royal Shakespeare Company’s musical-version of Matilda, which featured on The West End and Broadway. The show went on to win the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical and five Tony Awards, including Best Book of a Musical.
Matilda was adapted for the stage by Dennis Kelly, with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin and directed for the stage by Matthew Warchus. It is reported that Warchus will reprise the directing role for the feature film musical, as well.
Roald Dahl’s original novel Matilda, illustrated by Quentin Blake and published in 1988, centers around an intellectually and metaphysically gifted 5-year-old girl named Matilda. In her small, English village, she is neglected by her parents, bullied by headmistress Miss Trunchbull, and the only kindness shown her way is from her teacher Miss Honey and some schoolchildren. One day, Matilda discovers she has the amazing ability of telekinesis, a skill she harnesses to help those in need and teach her bullies some lessons.
Matilda was turned into a 1996 movie of the same title directed and narrated by Danny DeVito. The film relocated Dahl’s story to a 90s, American suburb and starred Mara Wilson as Matilda, and Rhea Pearlman and DeVito as her parents. The film was applauded for its heart and whimsy and went on to become a beloved classic.
Matilda the musical is being produced by Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, alongside Jon Finn, and Luke Kelly for The Roald Dahl Story Company. Netflix will distribute the film globally except for the U.K. TriStar will handle Matilda’s theatrical release in the U.K.