The forthcoming film from Wes Anderson, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, derived from Roald Dahl’s anthology, has been set to premiere on Netflix on October 13. The four-part film will run for a brief 37 minutes. The film boasts a starry cast that includes Benedict Cumberbatch, Ralph Fiennes, Dev Patel, Ben Kingsley, Rupert Friend, Asa Jennings, and Richard Ayoade.
Even though it’s been barely two months since his last film, Asteroid City, was shown in US cinemas in June, esteemed director Wes Anderson is showing no signs of slowing down. The year 2023 seems to be filled with continuous action for Anderson, with his upcoming project, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, now given an October 13 Netflix release date, after premiering at the Venice Film Festival earlier this year.
The film, an anthology, is an adaptation of a group of short stories penned by Roald Dahl, all part of the 1977 collection called The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More. The film will be split into four segments and has a total runtime of a mere 37 minutes. This adaptation is Anderson’s second dive into Dahl’s work, following his 2009 Oscar-nominated Fantastic Mr. Fox. The titular role will be played by Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange), with Ralph Fiennes (Harry Potter) taking on the role of Dahl. The ensemble cast is rounded out with Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire), Ben Kingsley (Iron Man 3), Rupert Friend (Hitman: Agent 47), Asa Jennings (Sing 2), and Richard Ayoade (The IT Crowd).
Anderson has long held a desire to adapt this series of short stories, previously stating in an interview with IndieWire, “I wanted to do Henry Sugar for years.” The director had formed a close relationship with Roald Dahl’s family, particularly his widow Lindsay Dahl, during the making of The Royal Tenebaums. He revealed, “They had kept this story for me because of our friendship,” adding that Lindsay passed the responsibility to Dahl’s grandson, Luke. “I had this opportunity waiting for me. But figuring out how to approach it was challenging. Dahl’s narrative was what attracted me, and the solution came unexpectedly. It’s not a feature film. It’s like 37 minutes or something.”
Straight to Streaming for Henry Sugar
Anderson revealed that when he was finally ready to adapt the story, the Dahl family no longer had the rights, as they had sold them to Netflix. Therefore, the film would not have a cinema release. However, due to the film’s brief duration, the Netflix acquisition was a fortunate coincidence. “There was no other option since Netflix owned the rights. But because it’s a 37-minute film, it was the ideal platform since it doesn’t fit the standard movie format,” Anderson explained. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar will get its chance to shine on the big screen, as it will make its debut at the Venice Film Festival this year, out of competition.
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar will be ready for streaming exclusively on Netflix from October 13. For an exclusive interview with the film’s star, Benedict Cumberbatch, head to FilmSweep below:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Wes Anderson’s ‘The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar’
When will Wes Anderson’s ‘The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar’ be released on Netflix?
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is set to be released on Netflix on October 13, 2023.
Who are the notable cast members of ‘The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar’?
The film boasts an ensemble cast that includes Benedict Cumberbatch, Ralph Fiennes, Dev Patel, Ben Kingsley, Rupert Friend, Asa Jennings, and Richard Ayoade.
How long is ‘The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar’?
‘The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar’ has a total runtime of 37 minutes.
Is ‘The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar’ based on a book?
Yes, ‘The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar’ is based on a collection of short stories by Roald Dahl, specifically the 1977 collection ‘The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More’.
Is this Wes Anderson’s first adaptation of Roald Dahl’s work?
No, this is Wes Anderson’s second adaptation of Roald Dahl’s work. The first was ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ in 2009, which was Oscar-nominated.
Will ‘The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar’ have a theatrical release?
No, ‘The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar’ will not have a theatrical release. It will premiere exclusively on Netflix, but will make its debut out of competition at the Venice Film Festival.