What's better than one new Wes Anderson film? Four new Wes Anderson films. Starting on the 27th of September, Netflix will be adding one a day. Yes, it's only four days, but we're dubbing it 'Wes Anderson Week' because someone who loves symmetry as much as Anderson wouldn't make an odd number of films.
All adaptations of lesser-known Roald Dahl works, the four shorts also all feature mostly the same primary actors. Benedict Cumberbatch, Sir Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes, Dev Patel and Richard Ayoade. With rave reviews for the first in the collection, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar we're very excited.
Whether you plan to watch them one at a time or all in a row to form a feature length anthology, here's the lowdown on what we know for each story.
1. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar
- Release date: 27th September
The first and longest short of the collection. This 39-minute film sees Benedict Cumberbatch as the title character, a struggling gambler who arrests a slump by learning a mysterious technique from "The man who sees without using his eyes".
Interestingly many believe that Dahl wrote this story as a satirical swipe at critics who moaned that his works never had a happy ending, so expect something sugary sweet.
2. The Swan
- Release date: 28th September
Another Dahl story featured in his short story collection The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More, this is a brisk 17 minute story of a genius young boy being ruthlessly bullied.
As well as Ralph Fiennes, this story also stars Rupert Friend and young Asa Jennings as lead character Peter. I won't spoil too much but the short story at least is a touch darker than Henry Sugar's tale. Perhaps those critics had a point Roald?
3. The Rat Catcher
- Release date: 29th September
The only animated short in the collection. Anderson has adapted Dahl's work into stop motion before, with the brilliant Fantastic Mr. Fox, so colour me excited for this one.
This wasn't actually in the Henry Sugar collection, but 1954's Someone Like You so clearly Anderson has specifically chosen it and has something special in mind. As you might expect it centers around a professional rat exterminator and some talking rodents.
- Release date: 30th September
The finale to the week of Wes Anderson, Poison, is back to live action in this adaptation of Dahl's 1950 short story. Interestingly Alfred Hitchcock did his own TV version of this story in 1958, so there are big boots to fill.
This is a very simple story of a man in India who wakes to find a poisonous snake in his bed, and features Cumberbatch, Fiennes, Kingsley and Dev Patel- with Fiennes playing the author himself.