Wes Anderson’s Henry Sugar to put Roald Dahl front and centre

Wes Anderson
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Wes Anderson confirms that Roald Dahl will appear as a recurring character in the anthology film Henry Sugar.

With Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City about to land on PVOD, we’ve also heard that his next project will shoot later this year. You can catch our review of the former here, whilst we don’t know too much about the latter yet, although talk suggests that Michael Cera is confirmed to star and Jeff Goldblum and Benicio del Toro are also rumoured to feature. The project is also rumoured to be a departure from Anderson’s trademark style.

However, slap bang in the middle of those two Anderson projects comes another, courtesy of Netflix. Henry Sugar is the filmmaker’s take on the Roald Dahl short story and will reportedly spearhead an anthology of Dahl tales. Dahl’s original book is indeed an anthology so we’re (very much) guessing that the other short films will also be pulled from the same title.

Last month, Rupert Friend (who features in Henry Sugar) revealed that he’ll appear in two of the other tales, The Ratcatcher and The Swan. Like the tale of Henry Sugar, these stories are more grown-up than your usual Dahl tales and can be more than a little twisted.

Anderson really wants Dahl’s presence in the stories though, to the point where we’ve learned that the writer (or a performed version of the writer) will feature onscreen in the anthology, and his prose will also be key. Anderson has talked about this a little, telling Daily Beast, “That’s not quite a movie. I did some Roald Dahl short story adaptations. They’re separate from each other; they’re not one thing. But the first one is a longer one, about 36-38 minutes, and so it’s a whole story—it’s The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar.”

Anderson added, “we have Ralph [Fiennes] as Roald Dahl, and Benedict Cumberbatch and Dev Patel and Richard Ayoade and Ben Kingsley, who’s great. It’s kind of an unusual form for the storytelling that we do, because my way into it was that I realised that what I liked were his words. The way the stories are told in Roald Dahl’s words. Just turning it into a movie, you can lose his words, by and large. We decided not to lose his words. When you see it, you’ll see what I mean. We use the words.”

It certainly sounds different to Anderson’s usual style and that in itself is intriguing. The filmmaker’s unique style tends to be fairly polarising and if you’re not a fan, it sounds like this project, not to mention his next untitled one (which will scale reportedly back the cast) might offer you something a little different. We’ll bring you more on The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar as we hear it.

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