2023 is shaping up to be a great year for auteur Wes Anderson. The indie filmmaker released his star-studded movie Asteroid City in theaters early this year to both critical and commercial acclaim. Now he’s gearing up for the release of his next movie, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar. With an eclectic cast and a classic Wes Anderson aesthetic, the movie looks set to be a hit. Here’s what we know about it.
What is The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar about?
The official plot synopsis for the movie reads:
“Henry Sugar, a wealthy man, decides to take on an extraordinary challenge - he wants to master an extraordinary skill in order to cheat at gambling games.”
The movie is an adaptation of a short story written by the author Roald Dahl. As an adaptation we have a pretty good idea of what will happen in the movie so without spoilers here’s some more information about The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar. The story involves “The Man Who Sees Without Using His Eyes”, who can be spotted in the first trailer for the movie. When Henry Sugar reads the doctor’s report on this man, he finds a way to procure the skill for himself. Now able to see through and around objects, Henry Sugar takes his newfound power directly to the casino. But once his winnings are in, he begins to wonder what to do with all of the money?
Who stars in the movie?
Award winning English actor of screen and stage Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Henry Sugar. Best known for his performance in Sherlock, Cumberbatch has starred more recently in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Doctor Strange. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in the movie Power of the Dog.
He is joined in the cast by long-time Wes Anderson collaborator Ralph Fiennes. Fiennes, who starred in The Grand Budapest Hotel, plays the author Roald Dahl.
Ben Kingsley stars as Imdad Khan. Kingsley is best remembered for starring as Mahatma Gandhi in the 1982 movie Gandhi. He is also a veteran of the Royal Shakespeare Company, having acted in a host of stage plays.
The cast is rounded out by British filmmaker, actor, and comedian Richard Ayoade. Best known for his role in The IT Crowd and cult comedy The Mighty Boosh, Ayoade has also starred in The Souvenir Part II and The Electrical Life of Louis Wain recently.
Who is making The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar?
Indie darling Wes Anderson is the filmmaker behind the movie. He is also responsible for the screenplay. Anderson is an Academy Award winning filmmaker known for hit movies such as Moonrise Kingdom, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The French Dispatch, and his recent movie, Asteroid City. His movies usually feature a star-studded ensemble cast, symmetrical and colorful shots tied together with eccentric comedy.
Anderson is a producer of this movie alongside Steven Rales, and Jeremy Dawson. He is joined by Robert Yeoman as cinematographer. Yeoman is another frequent collaborator with Wes Anderson who first worked with him on the 1996 movie Bottle Rocket. French film composer Alexandre Desplat scores The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar after working on Asteroid City, and The French Dispatch.
Is The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar a short film?
The movie clocks in at around 37 minutes long, which makes it a short film. Wes Anderson is no stranger to the format, with his notable short film so far being Hotel Chevalier. This movie however was an opportunity for him to do something slightly different and as he makes clear in this interview, produce a selection of shorter works.
“for a long time I’ve had this idea to do Henry Sugar. But when I realized that it was only going to add up to a certain length, I had to say to myself, ‘Let’s just let it be what it is, and this is the length that it wants to be.’So, I’ve made some other short films that are separate, but they’re all Dahl. And so, there’s three other ones that’ll be released one by one, or however Netflix want to do it.”
Wes Anderson Teases More Roald Dahl Shorts For Netflix
In an interview with Deadline, filmmaker Wes Anderson revealed that he was working on more Roald Dahl short films with Netflix. He explains that he has been working on an adaptation of The Rat Catcher starring Ralph Fiennes, Rupert Friend and Richard Ayoade. He confirmed that he was also working on an older Dahl story called Poison that will feature Benedict Cumberbatch, Ben Kinglsey, and Dev Patel. Lastly he confirmed an adaptation of The Swan which stars Rupert Friend. It is not yet clear when these short films will be released but it is definitely an exciting time to be a Wes Anderson fan.
Even more Wes Anderson is coming
Later in his interview with Deadline, when pressed on upcoming work, Anderson had this to say:
“Well, before the Writer’s Guild strike began, we had just finished a script. Roman Coppola and I had been working on a script. So, when the time is right again, we’ve got a movie to make with Benicio Del Toro.”
He also confirmed in the interview that his 12th feature film would also be starring actor Michael Cera. With these two tantalizing bits of information, all we can do is wait.
When is The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar going to be released?
You can watch The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar on Netflix. It will premiere on September 27th, 2023. In the meantime you can watch Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City on Peacock now.