The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is unapologetically Wes Anderson and it shows in the official trailer for the short film. Premiering on Netflix, it tells a variety of stories, with the main one following Henry Sugar. Played by the beloved actor Benedict Cumberbatch, best known for Sherlock, this character is “able to see through objects and predict the future with the help of a book he stole.“
This short film is based on a collection of seven short stories by Roald Dahl. He’s best known for writing James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Witches. All three are well-known stories which have been adapted into films. And it’s no surprise that Anderson took on The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar because he previously adapted and directed Fantastic Mr. Fox.
As for the collection of short stories that this short film is based on, they were aimed at a slightly older audience. They were written at various points in his life, with some being seemingly autobiographical and others like Henry Sugar are about stealing a book in hopes of gaining magical abilities to see through objects. What follows is money, obsession, and plenty of self-reflection as to how a gift like this should be used; for wealth or philanthropy.
In the official trailer, you get to see a lot of what makes Wes Anderson such a notable writer and director. He has a very distinctive color palette in every scene. The quirky costume designs are on point. There’s even the deadpan humor and a structure to storytelling that oddly enough feels like reading a book. (Truly don’t know how to explain this feeling but he’s got it down.) And of course, he’s got familiar faces back like Ben Kingsley, Dev Patel, and Ralph Fiennes; the latter plays Dahl himself.
The point is, Wes Anderson is unapologetically himself in his work and this short film follows in those footsteps without a care in the world. We could all be a little more like that.
Watch the trailer for The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar below:
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar premieres on September 27, 2023 on Netflix.
This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar being covered here wouldn’t exist.