Matilda is a book that was published by British author Roald Dahl in 1988 about an exceptionally smart girl who had developed telekinetic powers and was dealing with conflict from her evil headmistress at school and her careless family at home. In 1996, the book was adapted into a movie and later, in 2010, into a stage production that ended up winning five Tony Awards.
A Modernized Matilda Movie
Now, Sony Pictures and Netflix have teamed up to adapt the musical version of the book into a new and modernized Matilda movie. However, the movie won’t be shown in theaters in the United States. Instead, it will be available for streaming.
In the U.K., the musical film version of Matilda will be shown in theaters and be released for home video while the rest of the world will be able to stream it on Netflix. There are still some deals that are being worked out, but the biggest question remains – how soon into the theater release in the U.K. will the movie be released on Netflix’s streaming platform?
Working with Netflix on this Deal
For Netflix, this isn’t the first time they are teaming up with major studios to make a movie. In fact, this deal looks to be a reverse scenario of what Netflix did with their New Line Cinema’s Shaft where they co-financed the movie and later made it available to worldwide streaming audiences only two weeks after the debut. The streaming platform already has a deal with the Roald Dahl estate to adapt many of his books, Matilda included, into animated event series. However, these have yet to come to fruition.
Matthew Warchus will be the director of the new Matilda movie as he was for the stage musical. There is no word yet regarding a release date, but it is said that rehearsals will start in June 2020 and production is set to start in August 2020.
The title The Brady Bunch brings back a concept of when sitcoms were in their golden age. However, there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes to bring a classic sitcom to life that fans might not know — at least not right away. These are some of the secrets from behind the scenes of The Brady Bunch.
The Birth of a Sitcom
Have you ever wondered how The Brady Bunch came to be? Apparently, it was all thanks to a news article that Sherwood Schwartz happened to see.
While the creator of the show was perusing the Los Angeles Times one morning, he saw a news article about partners remarrying with children from previous relationships, a trend becoming more common. It was a lightbulb moment that led to the sitcom that would go down in TV history.
A Real Father Figure
The Brady Bunch was a show that centered around family. So, it’s no surprise that the roles made the cast closer. Since the show’s airing, both Mike Lookinland and Susan Olsen have shared some of their feelings.
On the show, Lookinland played Bobby and Olsen played Cindy. They’ve shared that Robert Reed became more of a father figure to them than their own fathers had been. He once even took the cast on vacation!
Missing the Finale
If you saw The Brady Bunch finale, you probably noticed something odd. Mike was completely absent from the show’s final episode!
This was because Robert Reed gave the producers a choice — or, more aptly, an ultimatum — that the last episode was changed or he wouldn’t participate in the finale. Sherwood Charles Schwartz simply accepted that choice and continued on. As for Reed, he kept to his promise and stayed away, giving us a finale free of one of the main characters.
If you saw any scene in The Brady Bunch that took place in the bathroom, you might have noticed something missing. Where is the family’s toilet?
Well, when the show aired, you couldn’t show a toilet bowl on screen. So, how do you have scenes of characters getting ready in the bathroom without catching the toilet in a single shot? As the makers of The Brady Bunch found out, you can simply do away with the toilet altogether.
When you rewatch The Brady Bunch, it’s easy to spot Florence Henderson in the first six episodes. Why would you expect not to?
What you probably don’t expect is that she filmed her scenes separately from the rest of the cast. This was because she was unavailable when the scenes were originally filmed, as she was filming a movie in Europe at the time. So, her scenes were recorded when she returned.
What They Didn’t Know
On-screen, Henderson played the perfect mother. She was sweet, kind, and exactly what you’d expect from a maternal sitcom character.
When fans met her in real life, they saw the sense of humor even in person. Schwartz’s son once said, “Whenever anybody came up to [Henderson] to say anything about the show, she was as warm as could be. I saw it a million times.” The truth was, to the people around her, Henderson was known for her more adult sense of humor.
Even if you watched The Brady Bunch as it aired, the way the Brady kids dressed wasn’t exactly the height of fashion. This was something the actors knew all too well.
They even regularly pleaded with Schwartz for more modern clothes for their wardrobe. However, what’s wrong with letting the kids wear the latest trends? Swartz was worried that if he made this change, the series would start to look outdated when it came to syndication.
We’ve all been in a position where we’ve wanted something more. Even the rich and famous have career ambitions they may not have met yet.
According to Schwartz, Reed clearly thought that he could do more than TV. However, he agreed that Reed was probably right — he had Shakespearean training and natural talent. Schwartz once told ABC that Reed “wound up on a show that he didn’t want to do in the first place, and it became more and more difficult for him.”
A Familiar Set
The house that the family lived together in during the run of The Brady Bunch is no one-hit-wonder. It might look familiar for a few other reasons!
The house — ot at least the interior — has been used as a set more than once. You might have seen it in an episode of Hawaii Five-O or during the runtime of Mission Impossible. It’s also been in the horror movie Bug and in Mannix.
Just Too Good
The role of the father figure didn’t always belong to Reed. There was a time that it was up for grabs and plenty of people wanted it.
One actor who really wanted this role was Jeffrey Hunter. You might recognize him from his roles in The Searchers or King of Kings. However, he was turned down for the role because the executives thought he was too attractive. Admittedly, though, Robert Reed was also a hunk.
We All Make Mistakes
The Brady Bunch wouldn’t be what it is without the mistakes and bloopers made on set. After all, the editors often left some of these mistakes in.
This has made for a few fan-favorite scenes with large errors. For instance, in one scene, the family leaves the house and then returns with a different car. Even worse, Jan’s haircut changes in a scene at one point. They add some character to the show!
The Subject Was Noses
In an episode of The Brady Bunch titled “The Subject Was Noses,” Marcia Brady is hurt in the show, and the episode follows her along as she navigates through her injury.
The episode actually came about after Maureen McCormick, who played Marcia Brady, was injured in real life. In 1973, the actress was in a car accident that left her with an injured nose. As a result, the writers incorporated what she went through into the show.
Too Much Realism
Speaking of “The Subject Was Noses,” there’s a darker fact behind the episode. During the episode, Marcia is hit in the face with a football that Peter throws her way.
Usually, when you see something like this on TV, it’s a bit of “movie magic” at work. After all, who wants the actors to actually get hurt? That wasn’t quite the case for The Brady Bunch. Schwartz had a real football actually thrown directly at McCormick’s face for the shot.
Of course, what the actors and the characters experience aren’t always the same. For example, the actors had totally different relationships with one another in real life than their television character counterparts.
Behind the scenes, romance blossomed too. Maureen McCormick and Barry Williams may have played siblings Marcia and Greg on-screen but they were romantically linked at one point in real life. At least they were for a little while and McCormick even discusses it in her memoir.
In the Spotlight
Throughout the run of The Brady Bunch, you see a lot of the same actors and actresses on screen time and time again. After all, it’s a show with a regular cast.
Despite this, though, there are only three actors that appear in every episode of the show. This includes Florence Henderson (Carol), Barry Williams (Greg), and Ann B. Davis (Alice). This gives them a total number of 117 episode appearances in The Brady Bunch.
The Brady Bunch almost got a spinoff of its own but the series ended up falling apart before it even made it to air.
The series was going to be called Kelly’s Kids. Instead of the Brady family, this series would have focused on their neighbors, Ken and Kathy Kelly — who fans met in the fifth season of the show. The show would have also featured the Kelly children that Kathy and Ken adopted.
Back on Screen
If you’ve seen the entirety of The Brady Bunch, you’ll definitely recognize Christopher Beaumont. He took on four roles over the span of two years.
The interesting thing about this is that he came back as a different character every time. In “Our Son, the Man,” he showed up as ‘The Boy’ while he played Hank in “A Room at the Top.” He’d show up once more as Jerry in “Quarterback Sneak.”
Not Quite as it Seems
We all know that the sets we see on screen probably aren’t exactly like a regular house. We already noted that something’s missing from the Brady bathroom.
Another missing thing is something you might not have noticed. The sliding glass door in the home is actually completely free of any glass. They did this to help reduce any glare or reflection off of the glass that the camera might pick up while filming.
Replacing Mike Brady
The role of Mike Brady was like any other role — there were a lot of actors up for the job! Before they decided on Reed, there were a few options in the running.
This included the famous Gene Hackman. He wasn’t quite the mammoth in his field as he’s considered today and that’s ultimately what did him in. He was turned down for not seeming familiar enough to audiences. Don’t worry, though, because he found success with an Oscar for The French Connection only a year later.
That’s One Solution
There’s a distinct visual cue in The Brady Bunch. The daughters in the family are blonde and Mike’s sons have dark hair.
Susan Olsen, who played Cindy, wasn’t actually a natural blonde, though. Instead of opting for a wig, the production team decided to bleach her hair regularly. They started doing so when the actress was only eight years old. The treatment was so harsh on her hair that it eventually started falling out.
Mike Brady wasn’t the only role that almost went to someone else. The role of Carol was up for grabs at one point as well.
Interestingly, Shirley Jones was also in the running for the role but turned down the offer when she was asked. This is interesting for a couple of reasons. Not only were Jones and Florence Henderson already friends at the time but Jones would later go on to take up a role in another famous sitcom — The Partridge Family.
A Different Cindy Brady
It’s interesting to think about how different the show could have been with different actors. Another person to compete for their character was Susan Olsen.
In 2019, on Watch What Happens Live, Olsen shared that someone else almost took her spot. As it turns out, before she launched to fame with titles like The Silence of the Lambs, Jodie Foster almost made a mark on sitcom history, too.
You don’t necessarily have to watch The Brady Bunch in order to see the cast members together. Many worked together more than once in other popular shows.
An ode to classic sitcoms, That ’70s Show called on actors from The Brady Bunch more than once. Barry Williams and Christopher Knight play the Foreman family’s neighbors — and Eve Plumb played Jackie’s for a moment, too!
Not as Popular as You Think
Considering how well-known The Brady Bunch is now, you’d probably expect that it was astonishingly popular when it aired. That isn’t quite the case.
During the time it aired, the show didn’t receive anywhere near the recognition it got later after it was syndicated. At the time, there was a metric of Nielsen’s Top 30 to spotlight popular and well-done shows. The Brady Bunch never made it on the list while it originally ran.
Moving Into Music
It’s not rare for a show to expand beyond simply existing on your screen for an episode each week. The Brady Bunch was no different.
While the TV show was on, the kids in the family launched into their own spin-off career in pop music together. The move was a familiar one since it’s one that The Partridge Family also took. They released a number of albums through the early ’70s and even briefly worked with the Jackson 5.
Singing a Song
While the Brady kids were known as a fairly musical bunch, not all of the actors had the same talents off-screen. After all, they weren’t hired as musicians.
This really negatively impacted Christopher Knight, who played Peter Brady. He didn’t have a knack for singing so the solution the show came up with was to have the young actor lip sync. In an interview with The Improper Bostonian, he later admitted the musical scenes were particularly traumatizing.
People land roles in shows for all sorts of reasons. Schwartz made sure that he added his daughter into the show a few times, even if it wasn’t for a main role.
Throughout the run of the show, she shows up four separate times. The first time you see her is in “The Slumber Caper” as Jenny. Then, she shows up for two episodes to play Rachel, Greg’s brief romantic fling. Finally, she shows up in “The Hair-Brained Scheme” as Gretchen.
By Any Other Name
By today’s standards, The Brady Bunch is nothing short of iconic. The title automatically brings to mind an idea of classic sitcoms.
So, it’s hard to think of the show under any other title. Yet, we almost saw a completely different title from the end result. Some of the ideas that floated around included “Yours and Mine,” much like an earlier comedy. Then, it shifted closer with “The Bradley Brood” before finally settling on The Brady Bunch.
A Show at Risk
Schwartz almost lost The Brady Bunch when he ended up in court over it. The executives of Yours, Mine, and Ours were the other party.
The makers of the 1968 comedy alleged that Schwartz had plagiarized their work. Namely, they tried to claim the concept of a blended family as the focus of the work. Schwartz got out of it by proving that he had written ideas for the show from before it aired.
In “The Cincinnati Kids” episode, The Brady Bunch was meant to jump on a real-life roller coaster. Reed got a hunch that something was off, though.
So, before they got on, he demanded that the roller coaster was subjected to a test run. During that test run, the camera on the front of the cart flew off. Had the actors been in their places, it would have hit them directly too! He managed to save the day.