The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar. (L-R) Benedict Cumberbatch as Henry Sugar and Ralph Fiennes as the policeman in The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar. Cr. Netflix ©2023

Wes Anderson Is Already Back With an Exciting New Film

When it comes to fantastical stories with hard-hitting messages, no one knows how to do it quite like Wes Anderson does. He manages to pair pain with pastel worlds in a way that the lightness lets us focus on the story he is weaving. It is why, in a lot of ways, Anderson tackling a story by Roald Dahl makes a lot of sense.

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The complicated and controversial author often brought stories to life through a fantastical lens while still making a very real, true-to-life story for readers to cling to. It’s why stories like The BFG and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory stay with us. What we’re getting now is Anderson’s latest take on Dahl’s work with his new short film The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar. With a runtime of 39 minutes, the film has been shown at festivals and is scheduled for release on Netflix on September 27th (and a limited theatrical run starting on September 20th)!

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar marks the first of the four shorts from Anderson to be released. In order, it goes Sugar on the 27th followed by The Swan hitting Netflix on September 28th, The Ratcatcher on September 29th, and Poison on September 30th. Until we get to see them for ourselves, fans have been treated with a brand new trailer for The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar highlights how perfect of a combination Anderson’s work and the world of Roald Dahl is!

A perfect blend of Anderson and Dahl

This trailer is a perfect Wes Anderson trailer but it is also a perfect Roald Dahl trailer. That’s why this collaboration is such a perfect fit. Anderson’s aesthetic and style is one that is so recognizable to his audience that you can easily point it out (and so much so that many have begun to replicate in their own lives, myself included with my new favorite camera). And while we see a bit about the tests that they’re running and Benedict Cumberbatch’s deal as a whole, the trailer is more weaving the story of single Henry Sugar into a stylistic story in a fascinating way.

The short, while part of Anderson’s larger project with Netflix, is an exciting time for fans of Dahl’s work because his stories have meant a lot to us growing up and it is just a natural fit for Anderson to bring them to life.

A picturesque moment

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

Netflix released the first official photo from The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar back in August and it featured Sir Ben Kingsley, Dev Patel, and Richard Ayoade all standing together in that quintessential Anderson framing. The rest of the cast also includes Rupert Friend (who was recently in Asteroid City), Ralph Fiennes (who worked with Anderson in The Grand Budapest Hotel), and Benedict Cumberbatch as Henry Sugar himself.

We don’t know a lot about the film yet, but Anderson—who previously adapted the author’s The Fantastic Mr. Fox—and Dahl seem like a really great pairing for the latest addition to Netflix’s line-up of Dahl adaptations. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is based on Dahl’s short story collection of the same name; specifically the titular and final story in that book, about a wealthy gambler who discovers a doctor’s records about a patient who could see without the use of his eyes.

What is The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar‘s release date?

When Matilda the Musical came out, audiences saw Netflix’s version of the world of Roald Dahl, and it was also a brilliant adaptation of the stage musical. We don’t know when we’re getting The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar or what Anderson will do with the story as a whole. But having Cumberbatch lead the charge with a cast that includes Patel, Ayoade, and Kingsley? That’s going to be fun for fans, and we can’t wait to see what the continued world of Dahl’s stories look like on Netflix!

(featured image: Netflix)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.