Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical set to open the 2022 BFI London Film Festival

The 2022 film festival season is starting to take shape. Following the latest instalment of Cannes back in May (replete with a roaring Top Gun: Maverick showing), there are overtures as to what to expect from the BFI London Film Festival.

It's been announced that Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical will be opening the 2022 edition of the LFF. Tim Minchin's toe-tappingly terrific production takes the essence of Dahl's text and gives it a superb Broadway spin. The movie adaptation comes from the duo of director Matthew Warchus, artistic director of London's Old Vic Theatre, and screenwriter Dennis Kelly.

Both Warchus and Kelly are the primary auteurs behind the hugely successful Matilda stage adaptation. The production started life with the Royal Shakespeare Company, eventually scoring seven Olivier awards and five Tony awards. The eagerly anticipated movie stars Alisha Weir in the title role as the precocious Matilda Wormwood, a telekinetic bookworm who uses her powers to exact mischievous revenge on the pesky adults in her life.

Said adults are represented by a superb cast. Emma Thompson dons (somewhat controversially) the fat suit and the prosthetics to portray the dreaded Trunchbull, the principal of Crunchem School. Stephen Graham and Andrea Riseborough portray Matilda's amusingly vile, self-obsessed parents Mr. and Mrs. Wormwood. On the lighter side, Lashana Lynch plays the good-hearted Miss Honey who becomes Matilda's staunchest ally and friend.


"What a delight to be opening this tremendous film festival with singing, dancing, green hair and chocolate cake," raves Warchus. "It’s a real honour to be sharing this joyful and empowering tale of a little girl’s courage and compassion at such a prestigious event.”

This year’s BFI London Film Festival will be the 66th edition of the event, and runs from 5 to 16 October. The opening of the festival on 5 October at the Southbank Centre will be Matilda The Musical’s world premiere, with simultaneous screenings set to take place across the UK, ahead of the film’s arrival in UK cinemas from 2 December.

Can't wait that long for Matilda to make an appearance on the big screen? The latest family-friendly extravaganza in Cineworld is Minions: The Rise of Gru, which hits screens on 1 July.