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Wes Anderson and Roald Dahl Combine in the Whimsical Trailer for 'The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar'

The 39-minute short film is one of four from the symmetry-loving director that'll hit Netflix before September is out.
By Sarah Ward
September 15, 2023
By Sarah Ward
September 15, 2023

Benedict Cumberbatch talking directly to the camera. Symmetrical shots after symmetrical shots. Dazzlingly gorgeous patterns as far as the eye can see. Thanks to the trailer for The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, you can tick all three off on your Wes Anderson bingo card. The beloved filmmaker has teamed up with the Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness star on the new 39-minute short film, which heads to the screen from Roald Dahl's page — and, unsurprisingly, the just-dropped trailer is classic Wes Anderson through and through (and through again).

Netflix is bringing The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar to streaming on Wednesday, September 27, following its recent world-premiere slot out of competition at the Venice International Film Festival. In the interim, the platform has released a sneak peek at what's in store. The film tells of a wealthy man who is so fond of wagering that he comes up with a crafty plan — after discovering a guru who can see without using his eyes, he decides to learn to the same to cheat while having a bet.

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar comes from one of the seven tales in Dahl's 1977 book The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More — and, for Netflix, it'll have three other brand-new shorts for company. The day after it arrives, The Swan will also drop on the streaming service on Thursday, September 28. Next comes The Ratcatcher on Friday, September 29. And, Poison will wrap up this Anderson-meets-Dahl frenzy on Saturday, September 30.

All four shorts not only stem from Dahl's pen originally, but cycle through a few core cast members, all of which play multiple roles. Stepping in front of the camera for Anderson: Cumberbatch, Dev Patel (The Green Knight), Ben Kingsley (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings), Richard Ayoade (The Souvenir: Part II) and Rupert Friend (Asteroid City). In glorious news for The Grand Budapest Hotel fans, Ralph Fiennes (The Menu) also reteams with the director. Fingers crossed for more line readings that are so completely perfect that they're unforgettable.

Dev Patel, Ben Kingsley and Richard Ayoade in 'The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar'.

Only The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar has scored a trailer so far — and it's the longest of the quartet. Running for 17 minutes, The Swan also takes inspiration from a tale from the same book, this time about a small and smart boy being bullied.

Clocking in at 17 minutes as well, The Ratcatcher adapts a lesser-known story of the same name — not from the same text this time — which is unsurprisingly about a rodent exterminator. And, running for the same duration, Poison dates back to 1950, focusing on a man finding a venomous snake. In 1958, the same tale was adapted for TV by none other than Alfred Hitchcock, in an episode of anthology series Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

Roger Do Minh/Netflix ©2023.

All up, that's 90 minutes of new Anderson work that'll be ready to stream by the time that September is out. If you watch them all together rather than day by day, it's basically an anthology feature.

Two months, five new Wes Anderson films: that's the glorious maths Down Under in 2023, after Asteroid City reached cinemas in August.

Check out the trailer for The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar below:

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar will be available to stream via Netflix from Wednesday, September 27. The Swan arrives on Thursday, September 28, then The Ratcatcher on Friday, September 29 and Poison on Saturday, September 30.

Images: courtesy of Netflix.

Published on September 15, 2023 by Sarah Ward
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