Wes Anderson is making 2023 special by adding two projects to his release calendar. The imaginative director’s Asteroid City touches down in theaters next week, and the filmmaker is busy bringing an adaptation of Roald Dahl‘s The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar to Netflix. Many wonder how Anderson is pulling off two movies in a single year. However, there’s a simple explanation. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is a relatively short feature. It’s 37 minutes long!
Speaking with IndieWire, Anderson revealed the adaptation’s brief runtime, saying he’s delighted to present something akin to the BBC series Play for Today. This series brings short-form filmmaking to a broad audience, with installments being an hour or less in length. “It’s not a feature film,” Anderson told the outlet. “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 adds, “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.”
Taken from Dahl’s 1977 book The Wonderful World of Henry Sugar and Six More, the story is a bit more adult than the author’s family-friendly tales. In addition to setting Wes Anderson as the project’s director, an all-star cast has also been announced, with Benedict Cumberbatch leading the pack. Other stars to join Cumberbatch include Ralph Fiennes, Dev Patel, Ben Kingsley, Rupert Friend, and Richard Ayoade.
Despite being pleased with his Netflix arrangement, Anderson still thinks theaters are where films should welcome audiences into an escape from their everyday lives. “[What] I will say is that while I had only a good experience with Netflix, [I’m] very happy to be putting Asteroid City in cinemas,” Anderson admits. “Focus and Universal are doing it the real cinema way. That’s the way I really want my movies to be shown.”
Are you excited to see Wes Anderson’s The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar later this year? What are your thoughts about the presentation being 37 minutes long? Feel free to let us know in the comments.
Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/the-wonderful-story-of-henry-sugar-runtime/