A Unique Addition to Roald Dahl’s Film Collection
Wes Anderson is known for his relentless work in the film industry. Even as his latest film, “Asteroid City,” is set to make waves in cinemas on June 21 after its grand presentation at the Cannes Film Festival, Anderson shows no signs of slowing down. Currently, he is preparing to direct a new feature film, written just before the ongoing screenwriters’ strike in Hollywood, which revolves around the story of a father and his daughter. In an interview with Cinema Teaser, Anderson reveals that this film will have “only three main characters.”
A Collaboration with Netflix and a Mesmerizing Medium-Length Film
For the first time in his career, Anderson will also join forces with Netflix to create “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar,” a medium-length film adapted from a story by American author Roald Dahl. This film is part of a larger collection of seven stories, all based on Dahl’s book “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More.” It is not the first time Anderson has brought Dahl’s work to the screen, following the success of the animated film “Fantastic Mr. Fox” in 2009.
In an interview with Indiewire, the director shares the behind-the-scenes details of the project: “It’s a very strange thing. I was familiar with Roald Dahl long before I made ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox.’ I met his widow, Lindsay Dahl, during the filming of ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’ twenty years ago. I’ve been wanting to adapt the stories of Henry Sugar for years. Lindsay has now entrusted her son Luke, whom I am friends with, to manage her grandfather’s legacy. This story has been waiting for me for years. However, I struggled to find the right approach. What truly captivated me were Dahl’s words. This film will not be a full-length feature, clocking in at around 37 minutes. In 2021, the Dahl family granted Netflix the rights, and I couldn’t do it any other way.”
A Perfect Fit for the Streaming Platform
“Given that the film is 37 minutes long, it felt ideal to release it directly on Netflix because it doesn’t quite fall into the category of a feature-length film,” Anderson adds. “The idea is not to choose between a theatrical release and a streaming platform release, as we could never distribute a short film like this in cinemas. Theaters would have to sell tickets at a lower price or screen two films back to back. I’ve had a great experience with Netflix, but I’m also thrilled to offer ‘Asteroid City’ directly in theaters. Universal and Focus Features showcase films in real cinemas, and that’s how I want my films to be seen,” he concludes.
A Stellar Cast and Upcoming Release
In “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar,” the cast includes Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role, marking his first collaboration with Wes Anderson, along with Ralph Fiennes, Dev Patel, and Ben Kingsley. All the “Henry Sugar” films are expected to be released on Netflix this fall. Meanwhile, “Asteroid City” will hit French cinemas this Wednesday.