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The Electrical Life of Louis Wain
Photograph: StudioCanal

Dahl-icious! Benedict Cumberbatch is joining Wes Anderson for a Roald Dahl adaptation

The Londoner is entering Netflix’s new Dahl-iverse

Phil de Semlyen
Written by
Phil de Semlyen

A man whose very name sounds like a Roald Dahl character, Benedict Cumberbatch feels like a natural fit for the British author's wonderful childhood fables of the ever-so-slightly macabre. Enter Wes Anderson to make that dream a reality.

Anderson, fresh from his latest film, Asteroid City, will be directing Cumberbatch in a new Netflix adaptation of one of Dahl’s short stories.

The actor will play the title character in ‘The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar’, according to The Daily Mail’s Baz Bamigboye, with the film scheduled to start shooting in London soon.

Less well-known than Dahl’s most famous yarns like ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’, which Anderson himself adapted into a stop-motion gem in 2009, ‘Henry Sugar’ follows a wealthy gambler who discovers the power to see through objects. This being a Dahl story, it’s a superpower of sorts that leads only to mishap and potential disaster.

The film is part of Netflix’s $686 million deal with the Roald Dahl estate to adapt the author’s works. Also on the slate is Matilda the Musical, with Emma Thompson as Miss Trunchbull.

For Cumberbatch, life is truly an Everlasting Gobstopper for at the moment. He’s being tipped for awards for his stellar turn in Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog, and has also been much-praised for his role in cat-herding work in The Electrical Life of Louis Wain. Of course, his Doctor Strange is now a key part of the Marvelverse too, with Spider-Man: No Way Home crushing box-office records and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness out in May.

Fancy a trip to the real Grand Budapest Hotel? Here’s the ultimate Wes Anderson travel guide.

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