Wes Anderson expresses his position against the editing of Roald Dahl’s books

Wes Anderson premieres The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and expresses his disagreement over the censoring of Roald Dahl’s works.

Wes Anderson Roald Dahl

Wes Anderson has dabbled in children’s storytelling with his films The Fantastic Mr. Fox and Isle of Dogs. His comedic style and quirky aesthetics naturally lend themselves to stop-motion animation. Anderson now enters the strange world of Roald Dahl with his new short film, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar. The movie stars Ralph Fiennes, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dev Patel, Ben Kingsley, Richard Ayoade, Rupert Friend, and Asa Jennings. The plot of the film reads, “A beloved Roald Dahl story about a rich man who learns about a guru who can see without using his eyes and then sets out to master the skill in order to cheat at gambling.”

Anderson recently arrived in Venice for the premiere of the film at the Venice Film Festival. According to Deadline, he was inquired about the controversy of Roald Dahl’s works being edited for the sensitivity of modern times. “I’m probably the worst person to ask about this because if you ask me if Renoir should be allowed to touch up one of his pictures, I would say no. It’s done,” Anderson tells the Venice press. “I don’t even want the artist to modify their work. I understand the motivation for it, but I’m in the school where when the piece of work is done we participate in it. We know it. So I think when it’s done, it’s done. And certainly no one who is not an author should be modifying somebody’s book. He’s dead.” 

The inquiry was in response to the controversy of the publisher, Puffin Books at Penguin Random House, deciding to censor potentially insensitive material by omitting them from Dahl’s original published stories. Opposition to the decision ultimately had the company decide to to release the original unaltered versions with the censored ones.

Meanwhile, while speaking with the press, Anderson was asked about his take on the whole strike situation currently having a stranglehold on productions. While Adam Driver had a lot to say when he expressed his feelings during his Ferrari interview, Anderson was short and to the point, “I can’t say I have answers or real suggestions. An equitable deal has got to be reached for anybody to go forward. People are suffering.”

Source: Deadline

About the Author

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E.J. is a News Editor at JoBlo, as well as a Video Editor, Writer, and Narrator for some of the movie retrospectives on our JoBlo Originals YouTube channel, including Reel Action, Revisited and some of the Top 10 lists. He is a graduate of the film program at Missouri Western State University with concentrations in performance, writing, editing and directing.