Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Emma Thompson to terrorize children

Illustration for article titled Emma Thompson to terrorize children
Photo: Rich Polk (Getty Images)

Little slugs! Witless weeds! Empty-headed hamsters! Roald Dahl’s cake-loving, shot put-throwing Miss Trunchbull will rise again in Netflix’s upcoming remake of the author’s Matilda, and the streamer has announced Emma Thompson will be suiting up as a tyrant headmistress. We hope she’s toning up that tossing arm.

Following the news that Lashana Lynch (Captain Marvel) will play the tender and bookish Miss Honey, Netflix has also announced who will play the story’s telekinetic heroine. Alisha Weir, a relative newcomer, will star as as the title character, stepping into the role made famous by Mara Wilson in Danny DeVito’s beloved 1996 adaptation.

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Matthew Warchus, who directed the book’s smash Broadway adaptation, will direct the new take, calling it an “imaginative and fresh retelling” of the story, which follows Matilda as she uses her newly discovered powers to protect her friends and foil her many bullies, which include her parents and the monstrous Miss Trunchbull.

Netflix secured the rights to Dahl’s library back in 2018, when it promised to adapt a slew of the author’s works and spin them into “an imaginative story universe that expands far beyond the pages of the books themselves.” It’s unclear if that’s still the plan, what with the underwhelming (and controversial) response to HBO Max’s The Witches and the resurfacing of Dahl’s antisemitic views, for which his family has recently apologized. Probably a “wait and see” kind of thing going on. 

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.

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