He has already terrified a generation of children as Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter movies, and now Ralph Fiennes has another iconic villain in his sights — Miss Trunchbull.
Fiennes is reportedly in the frame to portray the tyrannical headmistress of Crunchem Hall Elementary School in a new musical version of Roald Dahl’s Matilda for Netflix.
The movie, set to shoot this summer, is an adaptation of comedian Tim Minchin’s stage musical based on the Dahl novel.
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While the role of Miss Trunchbull was played by Pam Ferris in the beloved 1996 film adaptation, the part has traditionally been filled by a male actor on stage, with original star Bertie Carvel winning an Olivier Award for his work.
News of Fiennes’ potential involvement in the movie was broken by Daily Mail showbiz reporter Baz Bamigboye on Twitter.
Exclusive: #RalphFiennes in negotiations to play bullying headmistress #MissTrunchbull in film version of @MatildaMusical for director #MatthewWarchus . The @NetflixFilm production shoots this summer. pic.twitter.com/oeDA2Dcnca— Baz Bamigboye (@BazBam) January 30, 2020
A representative for Fiennes declined to comment on the reports.
Bamigboye also suggested that Emma Stone was an “actress of interest” for the role of Miss Honey in the film, but stressed that this was not confirmed.
Matilda the Musical debuted in Stratford-upon-Avon in November 2010 as part of a trial production put on by the Royal Shakespeare Company.
It subsequently transferred to the West End in 2011 and to Broadway in 2013.
The show won seven Olivier Awards, which was the biggest haul by a new show until it was overtaken by Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
It remains the highest number of Oliviers won by a musical — a record jointly held with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton.
Sony Pictures and Netflix are working together on the new musical adaptation, which will reunite Matthew Warchus — director of the musical — and writer Dennis Kelly, who adapted the novel for the stage.
The movie is expected to go straight to Netflix internationally, but will get a cinema release in the UK.
Netflix and the Dahl estate have an existing arrangement, with the streamer announcing in 2018 its plans to make animated series based on the author’s most memorable works.
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Dahl’s 1988 novel was previously adapted for the big screen in 1996, with Danny DeVito in the director’s chair.
Mara Wilson played the precocious child at the centre of the story, alongside Ferris as Trunchbull and Embeth Davidtz as the kindly teacher Miss Honey.
The movie was a box office flop, but has become a family favourite in the years following its release.
DeVito recently revealed he had hoped to make a sequel to Matilda and suggested he could follow an older version of Wilson’s character, who has a child of her own.