When Netflix first attained the rights to the Roald Dahl catalogue, many fans wondered if they would focus exclusively on the more familiar, kid-centric fare like Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Dahl also wrote a good deal for adults, and now comes our first evidence that indeed, Netflix has an interest in that too. According to Deadline, Wes Anderson will direct The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, based on a short story and collection of same by the author.
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is the title short story in a collection of seven. Deadline’s sources suggest Anderson’s film will incorporate three of them, like his recent The French Dispatch. The title story, however, features the most fertile ground. While several in the collection are entirely nonfiction, “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar” tells the tale of a man who learns the ability to see through thin objects, around corners, and into the future. He promptly uses this skill, as many of us would, to win big at gambling. When money no longer satisfies him personally, he travels the world in a variety of disguises looking to gain the funds to set up a chain of orphanages. Benedict Cumberbatch is set to play the role of Sugar, alongside Dev Patel, Ralph Fiennes, and Ben Kingsley.
Amon the other stories in the collection, two are autobiographical about Dahl himself, and one the true account of a ploughman who finds treasure. The other three deal with a vicious bullying, a boy who can talk to turtles, and the world’s greatest pickpocket. Those last two would fit the more fantastical mood of the Henry Sugar story, and suit Anderson’s usual style the best.
Anderson previously adapted Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox. Though the original book was for children, Anderson’s animated version featured more deadpan and ironic humor to appeal to adults as well. Dahl’s stories for older readers frequently feature a similar tone to Anderson’s whimsical live-action features. If this movie succeeds, Netflix owns a lot more where that came from.
Are you excited to hear of more Dahl adaptations beyond the obvious? Let us know in comments.
Recommended Reading: The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar
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