Wes Anderson’s latest film Asteroid City may have only just been in cinemas, but his next project is just around the corner. The director is bringing his inimitable style to Netflix this month, with his adaptation of four Roald Dahl shorts, including The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar.
Set to premiere consecutively at the end of this month, the shorts include The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar (September 27th), The Swan (September 28th), The Ratcatcher (September 29th) and Poison (September 30th). Here’s everything we know…
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar
Anderson brought the story Fantastic Mr. Fox to our screens back in 2009 and is now revisiting the famed author’s works for The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar. Unlike most of Roald Dahl’s novels and stories for children, Henry Sugar is aimed at a slightly older audience and the new film is aimed at all ages.
Starring Benedict Cumberbatch in the titular role, he’s joined alongside Ralph Fiennes, Dev Patel, Ben Kingsley, Rupert Friend and Richard Ayoade. The original book is a collection of seven short stories written at different points in Dahl’s life and the title story is the longest in the collection.
It tells the story of the wealthy Henry Sugar (Cumberbatch), who has a penchant for gambling. He’s inherited most of his wealth but doesn’t know the true worth and value of money until he develops a strange ability.
Henry becomes infatuated with the idea of being able to “see without his eyes” which, in the original story, he learns from another man claiming to have this mystical predictive ability. As Henry slowly becomes able to predict the future and see through cards, he uses his power to win at casino games and rake in huge amounts of cash. Things go wrong, however, when he starts to realise that his ability has made winning less thrilling and just how greedy others can be.
There isn’t as much information released about the final three short films but the release of the trailer for The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar has us excited for the final installments.
The second release will be The Swan, starring Rupert Friend as a narrator, Ralph Fiennes as Roald Dahl and Asa Jennings as Peter Watson. With the runtime coming in at just 17 minutes, it’ll be a short film about “a small/brilliant boy ruthlessly pursued by two large/idiotic bullies,” according to Tudum by Netflix.
Familiar faces again star in The Ratcatcher, with Richard Ayoade playing the editor/reporter, Ralph Fiennes playing Rat Man and Rupert Friend playing the role of Claud.
Netflix’s synopsis shares very little about this Dahl story, saying it follows “a professional rodent killer” as he “takes centre stage in this lesser-known Roald Dahl short story.”
The final installment comes in the form of Dahl’s well-known story of Poison. It’s set to star Dev Patel as Woods, Benedict Cumberbatch as Harry, Ralph Fiennes as Roald Dahl and Ben Kingsley as Dr. Ganderbai.
Netflix’s official synopsis, “a man discovers a poisonous snake asleep in his bed in this well-known Roald Dahl short story” again gives little insight into what we can expect, but we cannot wait to see what happens.
When are they released?
All four short stories are set to land on Netflix as follows this month, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar (September 27th), The Swan (September 28th), The Ratcatcher (September 29th) and Poison (September 30th).