Cumberbatch Is THE WAR MAGICIAN December 9, 2015 ‘Sherlock’ and ‘Black Mass’ star Benedict Cumberbatch has a closed a deal to portray British hero Jasper Maskelyne in the WWII drama ‘The War Magician.’ Based on David Fisher’s fact-based novel of the same name, ‘The War Magician’ recounts the true-life story of Maskelyne, a magician whose illusions helped the allied forces fight against the Nazis during World War II. In the producers’ announcement, via THR, they explained how Maskelyne put together a rag‐tag “dirty dozen” of accomplices dubbed “The Magic Gang” who used illusion tricks to hide strategic targets such as the Alexandria harbour, the Suez Canal, in the process concealing 150,000 men with 1,000 guns and tanks. ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ scribe Gary Whitta will handle the adaptation. No director is attached yet. Studio Canal is financing, while Storyscape Entertainment heads Bob Cooper and Richard Saperstein are producing. Cumberbatch is currently in production on the Scott Derrickson-directed ‘Doctor Strange.’ BLACK MASS is playing in cinemas across the country now.