Benedict Cumberbatch has been announced to star in the World War II epic, "The War Magician."
The announcement was made by Richard Saperstein and Bob cooper, principals for Storyscape Entertainment, which will be producing the movie. No director has been attached to the movie but Garry Whitta is on board to write the adaptation from David Fisher's book. Whitta is also credited with working on "Rogue One," an upcoming standalone from the Star Wars franchise, and writing "The Book of Eli," a 2010 post-apocalyptic thriller featuring Denzel Washington.
In "The War Magician," Cumberbatch will be the face of Jasper Maskelyne, a British hero who used clever illusions to help the Allied Forces beat the Nazis during World War II. According to the producers, Maskelyne worked with a group of accomplices called The Magic Gang, whose illusions were so amazing that they were able to hide strategic targets like the Alexandria harbor close to the Suez Canal and conceal 150,000 men with tanks and 1,000 guns. Thanks to illusions, the war was also won against General Rommel and North Africa's Germans, leading up to the Battle of El Alamein.
It was said that Maskelyne's tricks were so effective that he was part of Adolf Hitler's personal blacklist, putting him side by side with General Douglas MacArthur, as well as Bernard Montgomery, a British Field Marshall that was to be given "special" treatment if captured alive by the Nazis.
Lonetree Entertainment and SunnyMarch will be producing "The War Magician" with Storyscape. SunnyMarch was founded in 2013 by Cumberbatch. For this project, Adam Selves and Adam Ackland will be representing the production company.
Storyscape is also relatively newly launched, brought together by Saperstein and Cooper. Saperstein recently started pre-production on a remake of "The Blob" which will be starring Samuel L. Jackson while Cooper just wrapped shooting on "Maudie," which stars Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke.
Aside from "The War Magician," Whitta is also working on an adaptation for Fox for "Starlight," a sci-fi comic by Mark Millar.
Cumberbatch, on the other hand, is currently filming Marvel Studios' "Doctor Strange."