By Maureen Lee Lenker
January 14, 2021 at 10:18 PM EST
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Credit: Mike Marsland/WireImage

Netflix is ready to showcase some revolting children singing revolting rhymes.

The streamer has found the lead actor for its feature film adaptation of the Tony and Olivier award-winning musical Matilda, itself an adaptation of the beloved 1988 Roald Dahl book.

EW can confirm that newcomer Alisha Weir will portray the musical's pint-size heroine, a young girl whose vivid imagination, powers of telekinesis, and love for reading clash with her small-minded parents and abusive school principal, Miss Trunchbull.

Oscar winner Emma Thompson will be stepping into the formidable shoes of the Trunchbull, and Lashana Lynch (Captain Marvel) will be portraying Matilda's kindly teacher Miss Honey.

The film will be directed by Matthew Warchus, who also helmed the original 2010 West End production of the musical, featuring original music and lyrics by Tim Minchin. Warchus is best known as a theater director and is currently the artistic director of London's Old Vic Theater.

"Matilda will be an imaginative and fresh retelling of the award-winning musical, Matilda, featuring talented young newcomers, alongside established stars," he said in a statement. "I look forward to introducing this beloved and powerful story to a new generation of fans around the world."

Tim Bevan and Erin Fellner of Working Title are producing the film alongside Jon Finn, as well as Luke Kelly of the Roald Dahl Story Company. Netflix will distribute worldwide, except in the U.K., where TriStar Pictures will distribute theatrically. Dennis Kelly will adapt his own stage script for the screen.

The story of Matilda was previously adapted for the screen in a 1996 non-musical version, featuring a young Mara Wilson as the title character and Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman as her odious parents.

First staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2010, the musical adaptation of Matilda premiered on the West End in 2011 before opening on Broadway in 2013. Alongside Hamilton, it holds the record for the most Olivier Awards (the British equivalent of a Tony) won by a musical, with seven.

"This London-bred phenomenon captures the wonder and innocence of childhood, but also the frustrations that face kids confronting the bitter unfairness of the adult world," EW said of the Broadway production.

Further details, including additional casting and release date, are still to be announced.

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