Benedict Cumberbatch to Play Real-Life World War II Hero, 'The War Magician'

Benedict Cumberbatch has been tapped to star in a World War II-set film called "The War Magician," which, based on a fact-based book, follows a real-life illusionist who used his talents to help the allied forces win the war.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Gary Whitta ("The Book of Eli," the original draft of "Star Wars: Rogue One") is writing the screenplay for "The War Magician," with Storyscape Entertainment's Bob Cooper and Richard Saperstein producing, alongside Tony Eldridge's Lonetree Entertainment and Cumberbatch's own production company, SunnyMarch. Canal Plus is financing the project.

The original -- again, fact-based -- novel by David Fisher follows "a rag‐tag 'dirty dozen' of accomplices dubbed 'The Magic Gang' who used illusion tricks to hide strategic targets such as the Alexandria harbor, the Suez Canal, in the process concealing 150,000 men with 1,000 guns and tanks."

The titular illusionist of the novel, Jasper Maskelyne, was apparently so effective in his fight agains the Axis that Adolf Hitler added him to his personal blacklist.

"The War Magician" hasn't been given a release date.

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