Netflix has announced the premiere date for Wes Anderson’s The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar. The new short film, based on the Road Dahl short story of the same name, will hit the streaming service on Wednesday, September 27, following its September 1 premiere at the Venice Film Festival. See a new poster for the film below.
Clocking in at 39 minutes, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar stars Benedict Cumberbatch as the title character and Ralph Fiennes as Roald Dahl. Rounding out the cast are Dev Patel, Sir Ben Kingsley, and Richard Ayoade.
In a recent interview with IndieWire, Anderson said that he’s long wanted to adapt “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar” and that the Dahl family set it aside specifically for him. “So I had this waiting for me. But I really couldn’t figure out the approach,” the director said. “I knew what I liked in the story was the writing of it, Dahl’s words. I couldn’t find the answer, and then suddenly I did. It’s not a feature film. It’s like 37 minutes or something. But by the time I was ready to do it, the Dahl family no longer had the rights at all. They had sold the whole deal to Netflix.”
Anderson continued, “Suddenly, in essence, there was nowhere else you could do it since they own it. But beyond it, because it’s a 37-minute movie, it was the perfect place to do it because it’s not really a movie. You know they used to do these BBC things called Play for Today directed by people like Steven Frears and John Schlesinger and Alan Clarke. They were one hour programs or even less. I kind of envisioned something like that.”
Anderson also compared the release of The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar to that of his 2007 short film, Hotel Chevalier, which also premiered at the Venice Film Festival before being made available through the iTunes Store.
Wes Anderson released his first Roald Dahl adaptation, Fantastic Mr. Fox, in 2009. His most recent feature film, Asteroid City, hit theaters earlier this year.
Check out Pitchfork’s feature “How Wes Anderson Perfected the Music-Nerd Soundtrack.”