The trailer for Netflix’s Matilda The Musical has received mixed reviews after fans noticed Emma Thompson sporting a fat suit as villain Miss Trunchbull.

Roald Dahl’s global hit Matilda has been remade for the small screen, on Broadway, and now it’s hitting the silver screen for the second time following Danny DeVito’s 1996 feature film.

Confirmed to release in December 2022, the trailer dropped last week, featuring Emma Thompson as bitter headmistress Agatha Trunchbull and Alisha Weir as the titular Matilda Wormwood.

Despite it being a favourite, fans have labelled the production as “fatphobic” for hiring Thompson, rather than a larger actress.

Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

Emma Thompson’s fat suit tears up Twitter

As an expert in family films, casting Thompson as Miss Trunchbull was a no-brainer – she was fabulous as the magical Nanny McPhee in 2005.

Love & Gelato | Official Trailer | Netflix

However, her latest costume hasn’t been a hit with many fans. Dressed in an khaki green dress and brown boots, Miss Trunchbull looks more like an army officer than a headmistress, though it’s a perfect fit for her demanding rules.

It’s not the frock that’s the problem, it’s what she’s sporting underneath. It’s obvious that the 63-year-old has got a fat suit and extra padding for her breasts since she’s always kept a slim figure.

With the demand for representation in entertainment a bigger priority than ever, fans have criticised Thompson and the film for being insensitive for not hiring an actress with a more suitable body type.

One Twitter user wrote: “I can’t believe someone would agree to put a thin person into this costume for Matilda the musical. The original was already fat phobic enough but now they put Emma Thompson into a fat suit.”

Meanwhile, one longtime fan called her “pretty hypocritical” for donning the suit after preaching about body positivity on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.

Peckham’s Finest star Queen Mojo and comedian Freddy Quinne debated the topic on Good Morning Britain, with Mojo claiming that being overweight can be a “difficult experience” that a fat suit cannot replicate.

Quinne, however, believed that casting a talented actress is a priority, rather than hiring based on size. He also emphasised that it’s a fictional character, comparing it to Daniel Radcliff playing a wizard.

One Twitter user defended the suit, recalling how no one criticised Chris Hemsworth for his fat suit as Thor in Avengers: End Game.

This wouldn’t be the first time she’s dressed in prosthetics; the Harry Potter star also wore a fat suit in Love Actually as betrayed wife Karen.

Miss Trunchbull was played by a man in theatres

While there’s debate on the size of Trunchbull’s actress, it turns out that the role is usually played by someone of the opposite gender. Robert Carvel, better known as Bertie Carvel, won a Laurence Olivier Award as the villainous headmistress in London’s West End and on Broadway.

screenshot, YouTube – Matilda The Musical Broadway

The original Roald Dahl character is described as a muscular female former Olympic hammer-thrower with a “bull neck, big shoulders, thick arms, and powerful legs”, so fans have argued that the new remake is Thompson in a muscle suit to give her the “formidable” presence.