Cumberbatch is the War Magician

Benedict Cumberbatch is returning to World War II in his latest project.

He’s signed on to star in The War Magician, about Jasper Maskelyne, the magician whose illusions helped the allied forces fight against the Nazis during World War II.

Maskelyne put together a group of accomplices known as “The Magic Gang,” who were able to make tanks, troops and buildings seem to disappear, along with conjuring phony armies.

The group also managed to conceal the Alexandria harbor and the Suez Canal, where there were 150,000 men with 1,000 guns and tanks, turning the tide of the war against General Rommel and the Germans in North Africa.

He created a bogus Alexandria harbor that attracted most of the nightly bombing raids and shielded troops in the Suez through anti-aircraft searchlights and mirrors that blinded Nazi pilots. Maskelyne’s techniques resulted in Adolf Hitler adding him to his personal blacklist alongside men like Douglas MacArthur and British Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery.

Interestingly, this was originally a project for Tom Cruise!

No word yet on filming details or release dates.

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