Wes Anderson has his things — symmetrical framing, twee objects, verbose title cards, etc. — and now, we can sort of add Roald Dahl adaptations to the list. The auteur has chosen “The Wonderful World of Henry Sugar” for his second adaptation of a beloved work from the mind of the 20th-century British writer. The 39-minute work is set for a premiered at Venice Film Festival before making its way to Netflix on September 27. It tells the story of Henry Sugar, a man who learns how to see without using his eyes from a guru and then sets off to make some money from gambling using his newfound skill.
In a new trailer, we see Benedict Cumberbatch doing double duty — narrating the fable and playing its protagonist — while his interlocutors, like Dev Patel, speak as though they’re reading lines meant for children’s books. “He saw it, I cried,” says Patel, who’s playing a doctor observing the first man who learned to see without his eyes. “I was flabbergasted.” Cumberbatch explains how it works: “All at once, he sees through his own skin. Like an X-ray, only better. He sees everything.” Anderson wrote and directed the short film, with himself, Steven Rales, and Jeremy Dawson producing. Previous collaborator Fiennes (he led The Grand Budapest Hotel) stars in the film with Anderson newbies Patel (The Green Knight), Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange), Ben Kingsley (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings), and Richard Ayoade (The Souvenir Part II).
The real question is … are there more Dahl adaptations coming? Well, Netflix confirmed The Swan, The Ratcatcher, and Poison will sequentially hit the platform, starting with Henry Sugar on September 27, with the remaining shorts premiering on the 28th, 29th, and 30th, respectively. Combination Dahl and Anderson stans, you will get your fix.
This post has been updated.