Wes Anderson has officially confirmed that his Roald Dahl anthology, based on “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar,” will expand to include three additional short films adapted from the author’s stories: “The Swan,” “Poison,” and “The Ratcatcher.”
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During a press conference at the Venice Film Festival for the 37-minute “Henry Sugar” on Friday, Anderson provided a sneak peek into the upcoming “very, very peculiar” short films.
Anderson revealed, “There’s another one in the ‘Henry Sugar’ collection titled ‘The Swan,’ featuring Rupert Friend. We’ve also tackled an older story named ‘Poison,’ which has always been a personal favorite of mine… And then there’s ‘Ratcatcher,’ a particularly unusual one from the book ‘Claud’s Dog,’ a somewhat obscure Dahl work set in the rural Eastern part of England. It’s an eccentric tale. They are all quite unusual. However, I don’t currently have any others in mind. I do have some ideas brewing, but that might be the extent of my Dahl projects for now.”
Earlier in May, Friend had disclosed to Variety that he was set to appear in both “The Swan” and “Ratcatcher.”
“Wes brought together a smaller ensemble of actors for four of [Dahl’s stories]: myself, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dev Patel, and Richard Ayoade,” Friend shared. “Each of us participates in about two of the stories and takes on various roles. I believe Ralph might be involved in all of them.”
During the press conference, Anderson also weighed in on the recent controversy surrounding the editing of offensive language in Dahl’s works. He remarked, “I don’t want artists to even modify their own work. I understand the motivation behind it, but I’m of the mindset that once a piece of work is complete and the audience engages with it, it becomes what it is. I tend to believe that what’s done is done. Additionally, no one except the author should alter the work, and he’s no longer with us.”
Regarding the ongoing writers and actors strikes, Anderson delivered a succinct message: “An equitable agreement must be reached for progress to continue. People are enduring hardship.”
Anderson has previously adapted a Roald Dahl story with “The Fantastic Mr. Fox,” which received an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature and Original Score.
“The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar” is scheduled for a theatrical release on September 20 and will be available on Netflix starting September 27.