Benedict Cumberbatch already plays an illusionist of sorts in the MCU in the form of Doctor Strange, and maybe he’s taken a liking to the profession, as he’s signed on to play another one. However, this illusionist is real. Cumberbatch will play Jasper Maskelyne, who supposedly used magic to defeat German general Erwin Rommel in World War II.
The film is War Magician. Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World) will direct the film, which is an adaptation of David Fisher‘s book of the same name.
Trevorrow’s take will, per Deadline, 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. However, many of his claims were disputed and his reputation was somewhat tarnished. Will Trevorrow’s film treat his claims as fact, or will it address both sides of the controversy? Nicholas Mariani is writing the script, and the film is being produced by Studiocanal.
Cumberbatch has already played one real life figure who helped defeat the Nazis – Alan Turing in 2014’s The Imitation Game.
In fact, he’s no stranger to playing real people, having also portrayed Julian Assange, Thomas Edison, MI6 courier Greville Wynne, and politician William M. Bulger over the last decade. His most recent role is lawyer and immigration judge Stuart Couch in The Mauritanian.
We’ll see what he can do with Maskelyne. Trevorrow recently wrapped filming on Jurassic World: Dominion, the third film in the series. This film will no doubt be smaller in budget than that one, but Trevorrow hit it big when helming the indie Safety Not Guaranteed, so he’s proven he can work on a smaller scale.
Jurassic World: Dominion doesn’t hit cinemas until June 2022, so Trevorrow still has plenty of work to do on that one. There’s no word yet on when War Magician production is supposed to begin, but it may not be for a while.
Cumberbatch is currently shooting the Doctor Strange sequel, Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, which Sam Raimi is directing.