The 66th BFI London Film Festival has set Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical as its Opening Night Gala. Directed by Matthew Warchus and starring Emma Thompson, Lashana Lynch, Stephen Graham, Andrea Riseborough, Sindhu Vee and Alisha Weir as the eponymous Matilda, the film will have its world premiere on October 5 at the Southbank Centre in the Royal Festival Hall. Sony Pictures UK and TriStar release theatrically in the UK on December 2. Netflix will release the film elsewhere during the holiday season.
Filmmaker and cast attendance is expected at the LFF opening and there will also be simultaneous preview screenings of the film at multiple cinemas across the UK.
Matilda is an inspirational musical tale of an extraordinary girl who discovers her superpower and summons the remarkable courage, against all odds, to help others change their stories, whilst also taking charge of her own destiny. Standing up for what’s right, she’s met with miraculous results.
Commented Warchus, “What a delight to be opening this tremendous film festival with singing, dancing, green hair and chocolate cake. 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.”
Tricia Tuttle, BFI London Film Festival Director, said, “Like so many people who have been lucky enough to see it, I am a massive fan of this original stage musical, with Tim Minchin’s infectiously brilliant songs bringing new depth to a classic of children’s literature. With Screenwriter Dennis Kelly, Matthew Warchus has smartly adapted his own production for the screen with absolute verve and gusto. And what a cast: Alisha Weir is a revelation as Matilda; Emma Thompson is a chillingly nasty Trunchbull and Lashana Lynch’s Miss Honey will melt your heart. It’s a delight to host the world premiere of this exceptional all-ages musical film in our opening night spot and take it out to audiences across the UK with Sony Pictures.
“This is a rollicking, rousing story about sticking together and fighting back against the bullies of the world, even when that seems scary. Sometimes you have to get a little bit naughty!”
Warchus also developed and directed the award-winning stage show for both London’s West End and Broadway. The film is produced by Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner for Working Title, Jon Finn and Luke Kelly of The Roald Dahl Story Company.
The 66th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express runs from October 5-16.