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Wes Anderson didn't accept his first Oscar because he's already working on his next movie

Wes Anderson didn't accept his first Oscar because he's already working on his next movie

"The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar" director begins production on his new film early Monday morning.

Wes Anderson has finally won an Oscar — but he wasn't even there to accept it, because he's already hard at work on his next project. A representative for the acclaimed director confirmed to EW that Anderson starts production on his next film (which does not yet have an official title) early on Monday morning, so wasn't able to make Sunday's ceremony in Los Angeles.

Anderson had a very productive year in 2023. He released his 11th feature film, Asteroid City, as well as a quartet of short films based on Roald Dahl stories for Netflix. Although Asteroid City was criminally nominated for nothing, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar has just earned Anderson his first-ever Academy Award statue.

Since Anderson was not present to accept his award in person, it was accepted on his behalf by presenters Ramy Youssef and Issa Rae.

"Congratulations Wes. We knew you could make them long, but wow," Youssef said on stage.

In a statement to EW, Anderson revealed what he would have said in his acceptance speech had he been able to take the stage at the Dolby Theatre.

"If I could have been there, I (along with Steven Rales) would have said 'Thank you' to: The family of Roald Dahl (Luke and Liccy); the team at Netflix (Ted/Scott/Racheline/Lisa/Catherine/many others); Benedict and Ralph and Ben Kingsley and Dev and Richard and Bob and Adam and Jeremy and John and Jim and Rich and Jim and Polly and more," Anderson says. "Also I would have said: If I had not met Owen Wilson in a corridor at the University of Texas between classes when I was 18 years old, I would certainly not be receiving this award tonight."

Anderson's statement continues, "But unfortunately Steven and I are in Germany and we start shooting our new movie early tomorrow morning, so I did not actually receive the award or get a chance to say any of that."

Kristy Sparow/Getty Images
Kristy Sparow/Getty Images


Adapted from the Dahl short story of the same name, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar stars Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular character, a wealthy gambler who learns how to see without using his eyes. Although Henry Sugar initially uses his powers to win more money at cards, he eventually grows tired of such things and gives his money away by throwing it into the streets of London.

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar also starred Ralph Fiennes, Richard AyoadeDev Patel, and Ben Kingsley. This same group appeared in Anderson's other short Dahl adaptations for Netflix last year: The Swan, The Rat Catcher, and Poison.

According to a report from Deadline, Anderson's next film is set to star Michael Cera, along with frequent Anderson collaborators Bill Murray and Benicio Del Toro. It remains to be seen whether this project might score the director or his team any subsequent Oscars.

This post has been updated with Anderson's statement.

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