Jurassic World's Colin Trevorrow to Direct Benedict Cumberbatch in War Magician
Jurassic World: Dominion director Colin Trevorrow and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness [...]
Jurassic World: Dominion director Colin Trevorrow and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness star Benedict Cumberbatch have found their next project and it will bring them together for the first time. Deadline reports that the pair will collaborate on War Magician, a new film based on a book by David Fisher that tells the true story of British illusionist Jasper Maskelyne who was reported to have used his training and an assembled "magic gang" to use illusions to trick the Nazis. E. Nicholas Mariani will pen the script, a version of which has been in development for many years including one with Tom Cruise way back in 2003.
Fisher's book told the larger tale of Maskelyne and his "Magic Gang" using slight of hand and other tricks to reportedly trick the Nazis including reportedly "hiding" Alexandria Harbor in the Mediterranean by constructing a decoy that to enemy planes in the air looked like the real thing. This all came after months of seemingly being relegated to performing tricks to entertain the troops, which is when his "Magic Gang" was assembled to reportedly do more. According to a write-up on War Gaming, the group featured "a cartoonist, electrical engineers, chemist, a carpenter, and much more" all from every part of the world.
There were other tricks that Maskelyne reportedly used along the way but the larger story itself of Maskelyne and his contributions to the war effort are disputed. Regarding what he brought to the table, author Peter Forbes wrote in his book Dazzled and Deceived: Mimicry and Camouflage it was "…either absolutely central (if you believe his account and that of his biographer) or very marginal (if you believe the official records and more recent research)."
In any event War Magician will be produced by a laundry list of producers including Bob Cooper of Landscape Entertainment, Tony Eldridge of Lonetree, Richard Saperstein of Bluestone, plus Cumberbatch, Leah Clarke and Adam Ackland through SunnyMarch, and Trevorrow via his Metronome Films banner.
Jurassic World: Dominion, the third in the rebooted series but sixth overall in the franchise, marks Trevorrow's next feature as a director and is scheduled to be released on June 10, 2022. It's unclear if Trevorrow will attempt to begin production on the War Magician in any of the time before the sequel's release since it's over a year away. Cumberbatch similarly has only the upcoming Doctor Strange sequel from Marvel Studios on his plate for now, which could wrap up in a few months and potentially give them both an opening.