Benedict Cumberbatch is not exclusive to the MCU when it comes to playing illusionists. The Doctor Strange star will lead a World War II drama called War Magician, which is based on the book of the same name by David Fisher and tells the true story of British illusionist Jasper Maskelyne who, uh, used magic to defeat Erwin Rommel in World War II. Oh, and Colin Trevorrow is directing said World War II magic movie.
The news comes courtesy of Deadline, who reports that Trevorrow’s take on the material will focus on an “international ‘magic gang’ from Africa, Europe and the Middle East who conspired with Maskelyne and a female military intelligence officer to defeat the Nazis.”
Maskelyne claimed that he concocted elaborate ruses, illusions, and camouflage to deceive and help defeat the Nazis, but many of his claims were disputed and his reputation was somewhat tarnished, so it’ll be interesting to see if Trevorrow’s film treats his claims as fact or if it delves into the discrepancies. Nicholas Mariani is writing the script, and the film is being produced by Studiocanal.
The filmmaker recently wrapped Jurassic World: Dominion, the third film in the Jurassic World series and the second directed by him. Trevorrow was hand selected to shepherd the Jurassic franchise based on the strength of his indie Safety Not Guaranteed, and he was the original writer and director attached to bring the Skywalker Saga home with Star Wars: Episode IX before he departed the Lucasfilm sequel over creative differences.
War Magician isn’t exactly going back to Trevorrow’s indie routes, but it will assuredly be smaller in scale than Jurassic World movies. He’s only returned to that smaller scale once since Safety Not Guaranteed with his drama The Book of Henry.
As for Cumberbatch, he’s currently filming the MCU sequel Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness but has continued to take roles in interesting dramas and thrillers like The Mauritanian and The Courier.
No word on whether War Magician is being planned as Trevorrow’s next film, but he has a ways to go before completing Jurassic World: Dominion as that film doesn’t hit theaters until June 2022.