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Tim Minchin explains why Matilda hasn't been released on UK Netflix yet

The film will arrive on UK Netflix next summer

Tim Minchin
© Dan Wooller

With some grumbles from UK social media-ites over the lack of Netflix release for Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical (the film has been released on streaming platforms globally except for on these shores), composer and lyricist Tim Minchin has taken to social media to explain the situation.

Based on the smash-hit West End musical, the Matthew Warchus-directed flick follows a young girl who uses her imagination to connect with others (and develop superpowers), while combating the tyrannical rule of Miss Trunchbull. It earned a glowing review from WhatsOnStage, published last month.

Road Dahl's Matilda The Musical is only in UK and Ireland cinemas now – and will be streaming in this country on Netflix from summer 2023. There will also be sing-along screenings in cinemas from 1 January.

In a Twitter thread, Minchin said the following:

I've got a lot of messages from people in the UK who are sad and/or angry that Matilda is not on Netflix until the summer. A bullet point response:

1. I'm sorry.

2. It wasn't up to me.

3. As filmmakers, we would prefer audiences to see the film in a cinema. The large format and excellent sound do justice to the incredible detail of the work. I know not everyone can afford it, but if you can, and you're a fan of the musical, I do think being in the UK - the only place in the world where it got a proper cinema release - is a good thing. You will get to see it on Netflix, too, in a few months.

4. There is a commercial reason why it has worked out this way, involving the fact that the film was funded by Sony and Netflix. Sony isn't a streamer, and therefore retained the rights to release the movie in the UK in the traditional manner. It might be disappointing (and a bit baffling), but it makes sense, and is one of the reasons the film is so good.

As we've noted frequently since before the film's movie release, UK audiences still have the opportunity to witness the musical in cinemas. Or, alternatively, they can catch the live stage production at the Cambridge Theatre now.