Having helped England win World War Two in The Imitation Game, Benedict Cumberbatch is looking to do it again. The British actor has become attached to The War Magician, an adaptation of David Fisher’s book about world famous magician Jasper Maskelyne, who used his talent for sleight-of-hand and illusion to help develop tricks to aid Allied soldiers and to fool the Nazis.
Maskelyne recruited several of his stage magicians peers to form a group that helped design numerous illusions that helped protect Allied soldiers and installations. Among the tricks they developed include creating fake soldiers and tanks that would give the illusion of actual troop movements to overhead Nazi spy planes. They also used their craft to figure out ways to disguise everything from machine gun nests and tanks as to strategic locations like Alexandria harbor and the Suez Canal.
Book Of Eli screenwriter Gary Whitta is currently working on adapting Fisher’s book. No director has been attached to the project.
Previously, Tom Cruise had expressed interest in bringing Maskelyne’s story to the big screen, but the project died in development.