Deadline reports that Doctor Strange actor Benedict Cumberbatch is set to star in a new WWII drama, titled War Magician, that focuses on Jasper Makelyne who used illusions/magic to defeat the Nazis. The StudioCanal film will be directed by Colin Trevorrow best known for Jurassic World and the upcoming sequel Jurassic World: Dominion. The script was adapted from the David Fisher book by screenwriter E. Nicholas Mariani. Previous drafts were penned by Richard Cordiner and Gary Whitta.
Based on the wild story of Jasper Maskelyne, a British illusionist who used magic to defeat Erwin Rommel in World War II. Trevorrow’s take features 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.
It sounds similar to the American counterpart project Ghost Army that had Ben Affleck (Argo, The Town) attached to direct. That film is based on the real-life group that had American military overseas during WWII creating fake tanks and mock forces to fool the Germans thinking that the allies were advancing in greater numbers. It’s not magic but there is still an illusion element to trick the enemy.
Benedict Cumberbatch has worked on plenty of war films in the past including Sam Mendes’ 1917, Steven Spielberg’s War Horse, the WWII drama The Intimidation Game, and the Cold-War era drama Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. The actor has been recently shooting Marvel’s Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness.
It’s unclear when War Magician will begin shooting.