See Wes Anderson’s fresh take on Roald Dahl with Henry Sugar trailer

The teaser reveals Benedict Cumberbatch as our fast-talking narrator and Dev Patel and Richard Ayoade as a terrific double act.

15 September 2023


Only three months after Asteroid City hit screens in the UK and US, Wes Anderson is back with another release – there was a slight delay on The French Dispatch caused by the pandemic, as much as it seems like the director is positively churning out cinema at the moment. The release is for his long-awaited Roald Dahl adaptation, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, which is based on the original collection of seven short stories, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More.

In the trailer, we’re introduced to Benedict Cumberbatch in his first-ever Wes Anderson role, alongside performances from Ralph Fiennes and Ben Kingsley. Dev Patel and Richard Ayoade play doctors in the main story of Dahl’s collection. It tells the tale of Henry Sugar (Cumberbatch), a rich gambling man who finds out about a medical marvel who can see without using his eyes, even when his entire head is covered with bandages – this looks to be a particularly brilliant part of the film from the trailer, with Patel and Ayoade watching, aghast, as the patient cycles blindfolded.

Dahl released Henry Sugar in 1977, before The BFG or Matilda. The collection ranges from autobiographical tales, with one based on the author’s time as a fighter pilot, and more fantastical stories.

This will be the director’s second Dahl adaptation after Fantastic Mr. Fox, which is now over a decade old, if you can believe it. The film returns to the vignette-based approach used in The French Dispatch, although unlike his feature length love letter to journalism, Henry Sugar is only 40 minutes long.

The trailer reveals some new visual techniques for the director, as well as his much-recreated signature style. For example, the set design features moving elements like sliding screens. A recent IndieWire review has tipped the film to be “the most visually inventive film that Anderson has made thus far”.

Henry Sugar will be available only on Netflix, with a release date of 27 September.

GalleryWes Anderson: The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar (Copyright © Netflix, 2023)

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Wes Anderson: The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar (Copyright © Netflix, 2023)

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About the Author

Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. In January 2023, they became associate editor, predominantly working on partnership projects and contributing long-form pieces to It’s Nice That. Contact them about potential partnerships or story leads.

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