Modern cinema's favourite auteur Wes Anderson is returning to the world of Roald Dahl, adapting a series of short stories for film written by the Welsh author. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is a new Netflix-funded adaptation of the 1977 book, with the streaming service having attained the rights to Dahl’s entire creative catalogue in late 2021.
Details surrounding the composition of the new film are still to be confirmed, with Benedict Cumberbatch the only person cast in the project thus far. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar takes its name from one of the short stories within it and it is not yet known if the film will be a holistic adaptation of the book or only the titular. 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), an all-encompassing approach covering every story wouldn’t be abnormal for the director.
Of course, this isn’t Anderson’s first foray into Dahl’s world, 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.
Off the back of The French Dispatch, this is the second upcoming release from Anderson alongside Asteroid City, currently shooting in Spain and starring Margot Robbie, Tom Hanks and regular co-collaborators Tilda Swinton and Adrien Brody. Production of The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is expected to commence in London later this year.