MATILDA Heading to the Big Screen; Tony Winner Dennis Kelly to Pen Screenplay
Looks like things will be getting a little bit naughty in movie theaters across the country. According to the UK's Daily Mail, the Tony-nominated Broadway musical MATILDA is heading for a big screen adaptation, hitting theaters sometime in 2019.
The long delay is due in part to complicated contract issues which stipulate that a film version of author Roald Dahl's classic story is not permitted to be released until six years after the opening of the Broadway production. According to the report, Matilda director Matthew Warchus shared that Tony winning scribe Dennis Kelly, who penned the book for the show, will take on the job of writing the screenplay beginning in 2014. He will then join forces with composer Tim Minchin to determine if additional songs will be required to enhance the film version.
'It'll be different from what we did on stage,' Warchus commented. 'Matilda's imagination lends itself very much to film. We can open up her amazing acrobat stories. And there will be the conundrum of trying to capture the naughtiness and anarchy of the stage version.'
Matilda producer Andre Ptaszynski explained that the six-year delay can serve as an advantage for the planned project as the show makes it way to theater audiences around the world. A similar moratorium was in place for such film adaptations as Mamma Mia!, Les Miserables, and Evita.
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Dennis Kelly won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical for MATILDA. An internationally acclaimed writer, with plays performed in more than 30 countries, Kelly's stage plays include Debris (Theatre 503/Battersea Arts Centre, 2003), Osama the Hero (Hampstead Theatre 2004), After the End (Paines Plough, Traverse Theatre, Bush Theatre 2005), Love and Money (Young Vic/Manchester Royal Exchange, 2006), Taking Care of Baby (Hampstead Theatre/Birmingham Repertory, 2006), DNA (National Theatre, 2008), Orphans (Paines Plough, Traverse Theatre, Soho Theatre and Birmingham Rep, 2009), The Gods Weep (Royal Shakespeare Company, 2010) and The Ritual Slaughter of Gorge Mastromas (Frankfurt Schauspielhaus, 2011).
Dennis co-wrote and created the award-winning comedy series "Pulling" (Silver River/BBC 3) and wrote and created Utopia (Kudos) for Channel Four.
Photo Credit: Maneul Harlan