Wes Anderson is on a roll. With The French Dispatch out in 2021, and his next project, an ensemble film called Asteroid City, already in post-production and expected later this year, Anderson is already prepping his next-next project, a Roald Dahl adaptation for Netflix, starring Benedict Cumberbatch. The news comes from entertainment reporter Baz Bamigboye, who is so consistently reliable I am constantly shocked he writes for the Daily Mail. Netflix bought the Roald Dahl Story Company in 2021 with the intent of creating a Dahl-iverse of films and TV shows. Wes Anderson and Benedict Cumberbatch teaming up to adapt The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is the most high-profile project to come from the Netflix-RDSC deal yet. (Taika Waititi is also making a couple of animated projects for the streamer.)
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is a short story about a guy who learns to see through objects and uses the power to cheat at cards. He has adventures in various casinos, accidentally starts a riot, and founds an orphanage. This won’t be the first time Anderson adapts from Roald Dahl, as he previously adapted Fantastic Mr. Fox into a stop-motion classic, but it will be the first time he does so in live-action. Animation is the ideal medium for Anderson’s jewel-box cinema, but I am curious what Anderson makes of Dahl in live-action. Also curious to see if Dahl’s history of antisemitism ever becomes a problem for Netflix, which is banking a lot, literally, on the perception of Dahl’s ongoing appeal as family entertainment.