The so-far all male and all British cast of Wes Anderson’s adaptation of Roald Dahl for Netflix – The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar – continues to grow, with new additions Richard Ayoade and Rupert Friend joining Benedict Cumberbatch, Ralph Fiennes, Dev Patel and Ben Kingsley.
It’s the first project announced by Netflix since they acquired Roald Dahl’s catalogue of beloved children’s books. Based on the short story collection The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More, it is likely that the film will be a collection of vignettes, in the same style as Anderson’s last film The French Dispatch. Cumberbatch will be playing Henry Sugar as well as roles in the other stories, forming a connective thread.
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs was another portmanteau film made for Netflix, by the Coen Brothers, and sources are saying that Henry Sugar could be made up of three parts, as that film was, according to Deadline.
Richard Ayoade is a comedian, actor, writer and director. He is known for The IT Crowd, Garth Marenghi’s Dark Place and appearances on The Big Fat Quiz of the Year. He also had a supporting role as a nightmare director in The Souvenir Part I and II.
Richard Ayoade also directed the feature films Submarine, starring Craig Roberts (2010) and The Double, starring Jesse Eisenberg (2013).
Rupert Friend has appeared in Pride & Prejudice (2005), The Young Victoria (2009) and The Death of Stalin (2017). He was also in Anderson’s last film, The French Dispatch.
The film adaptation of Tim Minchin’s Matilda musical (also based on a Roald Dahl book) already started filming for Netflix, but production was halted due to the pandemic. Emma Thompson is playing Miss Trunchbull.