Throughout his illustrious career as an actor, director, and producer, Danny DeVito has worked on many iconic films and played countless memorable characters. He is one of Hollywood’s most beloved stars and a favorite of every generation. Even though many of his films are more than a decade older now, they are still a hit- a fact that is being seconded by one of his most critically acclaimed films currently climbing the ranks on streaming!
Danny DeVito’s Matilda, which he directed, produced, and starred in, recently debuted on Hulu streaming. Already the film is one of the most popular films on the streaming platform and occupies the sixth rank on its charts. The fantasy comedy film, released back in 1996, is based on Roald Dahl’s classic 1988 novel of the same name. The cast of the film includes Mara Wilson starring as the titular character while DeVito and his wife, Rhea Perlman, play the role of her careless and uncaring parents who never acknowledge their daughter’s potential. The film also stars Embeth Davidtz and Pam Ferris in supporting roles.
The story of Matilda follows its title character, a 6-year-old girl who is very intelligent and has telekinetic powers. But her parents, Harry and Zinnia (Danny Devito, who is also the narrator of the film, and Rhea Perlman) couldn’t care less and always mistreat her. Eventually, after much chaos, Matilda becomes a student of Crunchem Hall Elementary School. While her kind-hearted teacher, Miss Jennifer Honey is quick to notice that Matilda is intellectually gifted, the school’s tyrannical principal, Miss Agatha Trunchbull has other nefarious ideas, thus pushing our young protagonist to use her powers and wit against her evil plans.
Upon its release, the film was lauded by critics who praised Danny DeVito’s direction style and how the story manages to capture the spirit of Roald Dahl’s book. But even though the film has a high critic score of 90% on Rotten Tomatoes, Matilda was a major commercial disappointment and barely managed to gross $33.5 million against a budget of $36 million. Despite the low box office earnings, the film remains one of DeVito’s favorites. In a chat with Comicbook in 2019, when asked to name a past film that he would like to revisit, the Jumanji: Next Level star was quick to pick Matilda. He also shared that he always wanted to make a sequel to the film, which would depict Matilda’s adventures while raising her own child.
While we would really love Danny DeVito revisiting only Matilda, his fans have a list of his other celebrated roles that they would love the actor to reprise one day. His portrayal of The Penguin, in 1992’s Batman Returns is still regarded as one of the best live-action adaptations of a DC comic book villain. Then there is the popular TV series, Taxi (1978-1983), which saw him play the character of Louie De Palma, a role that earned him the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor and a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. DeVito is also known for his roles in films like Romancing the Stone, When in Rome, Throw Momma from the Train, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Get Shorty, The Big Kahuna, Wiener-Dog, etc.
Danny DeVito will be next seen in the biographical drama, The Survivor, directed by Barry Levinson and based on a screenplay by Justine Juel Gillmer. He will appear alongside Peter Sarsgaard, Saro Emirze, Billy Magnussen, Vicky Krieps, Dar Zuzovsky, and John Leguizamo. The film has already debuted at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival. He is currently filming the Disney horror film, Haunted Mansion, directed by Justin Simien and also starring Rosario Dawson, Lakeith Stanfield, Tiffany Haddish, and Owen Wilson.
Danny Devito is also part of the leading cast of Oscar-winning Taylor Haclford’s Sniff, wherein he will play the role of detective William Keys who joins hands with Morgan Freeman’s Joe Mulwray to solve the mysterious deaths in an elite retirement community. Currently, DeVito is also part of the leading cast of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, starring as Frank Reynolds. His character is best buds with Charlie Kelly (Charlie Day), who is his roommate and quite possibly his biological son. Check out Matilda on streaming now.