War Magician is based on the story of Jasper Maskelyne, a world-famous magician and illusionist who used his stage skills to help the British Army during World War II.
According to Deadline, Cumberbatch is in talks to play the illusionist, who claimed to have won the battle of El Alamein in northern Egypt by creating the illusion of an entire dummy army in the middle of the desert. He also claimed to have “hidden” the Suez canal and created “fake” bomb creators via his camouflage skills.
By his own account, Maskelyne was so effective that Hitler added him to his personal blacklist, alongside General Douglas MacArthur and British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, as a candidate to be considered for “special” treatment from the Nazis if captured alive.
Trevorrow and Cumberbatch will produce War Magician under their Metronome Films and SunnyMarch production companies respectively. Bob Cooper, Leah Clarke, Adam Ackland, Tony Eldridge and Richard Saperstein are also serving as producers.
Cumberbatch is also set to return to the role of Dr Stephen Strange in the MCU sequel Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness and revealed that he has loved working with the “incredible force” that is director Sam Raimi –
“Sam, amazing. He’s so collaborative. God, he comes with the baggage of an icon. He’s an incredible force, especially in this genre.”
“But he’s so humble, he’s so nice, he’s so appreciative, you really wanna serve him. And boy, when he’s happy, you know you’ve done something right. He’s so good at getting you there and getting it there.”
Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness will be released next year.