Culture / Film

We have a new update on Wes Anderson’s Roald Dahl film adaptation

Wes Anderson is working on a new 16mm Roald Dahl film adaptation

Modern cinema's favourite auteur Wes Anderson is returning to the world of Roald Dahl, adapting a series of darker, twisted short stories written by the Welsh author for an adult audience. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is a new Netflix-funded adaptation of the 1977 book of the same name, with the streaming service having attained the rights to Dahl’s entire creative catalogue in late 2021.

Details surrounding the new film are still to be confirmed, but we know Benedict Cumberbatch will play the titular role, while Ralph Fiennes, Dev Patel, Richard Ayoade and Ben Kingsley are also attached to the project thus far.


What is The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar about?

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar takes its name from one of the short stories within it, and will merge four of the stories in total. In the novel, the story follows Sugar, a magical gambler, who has his eyes sewn shut yet alleges he has the power to see through cards. Known for his love of anthological storytelling (think: The Royal Tenenbaums), this approach  isn't exactly abnormal for the director.

The film's cinematographer, Robert Yeoman, shared that "Three of [the stories] were shot on a stage. One of them is out in the jungle. So it was quite a challenge to create all this on a stage."

"And each one has a very distinct look to it. We shot 16mm for the whole thing, which when I saw the finished film, the first thing I wrote Wes was I just love the 16mm. It has such a distinct look to it. But again, he’s pushing the boundaries and it’s a very different style, in some ways, than what Wes usually does.”

Of course, this isn’t Anderson’s first foray into Dahl’s world either, having directed the stop-motion cinematic adaptation of Fantastic Mr Fox in 2009. An immersive production experience, Anderson visited the town where Dahl lived until his death, expanding his vision for the film to focus on the author as well as the book’s characters – Mr Fox’s wife is named Felicity in the film, the same as Dahl’s second wife, whereas in the novel she is nameless. Anderson is a self-confessed fan of the author, with his literature cited as a formative part of his childhood in Texas.


Who is in the cast?

Benedict Cumberbatch will star as the titular Henry Sugar in the forthcoming adaptation. Cumberbatch will star alongside Rupert Friend, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, Dev Patel, and Richard Ayoade.


When will it be released?

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar will be available to stream via Netflix from 13 October this year. There's no indication as of yet about whether the film will be getting a theatrical release.


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Images via IMDb.