Newswire: Benedict Cumberbatch to play The War Magician in World War II drama

Benedict Cumberbatch is set to star in the World War II drama The War Magician as the war magician of the title, Variety reports. And what, pray tell, is a war magician? Well, a war magician is a literal stage magician who uses their talent for making things vanish in order to help win a war. The War Magician has been in development since 2003, when Tom Cruise and his producing partner Paul Wagner optioned the book and had Peter Weir attached to direct. Perhaps due to some dark magic, the film didn’t make much progress, and in 2012, it was given a new director: World War Z‘s Marc Forster. But he dropped out. (No new director is attached yet.) Based on David Fisher’s fact-based novel, the screenplay will be adapted by Gary Whitta (After Earth).

Adaptation star Cumberbatch will play the real-life British stage magician Jasper …

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