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Anderson went back to Dahl’s hideaway hut to pen script

The director sought out the Dahl family’s Gipsy House estate in Great Missenden, England while seeking inspiration for his new movie – and fell in love with the writer’s hideaway.

He tells WENN, “I went to Gipsy House and it was drenched in mud. Dahl’s widow gave me a pair of rubber boots and one of Dahl’s old fishing hats and took me around the property. There is a gigantic beech tree at the end of a fox run, which I immediately recognised from the book Fantastic Mr. Fox.

“His widow, Felicity, showed me into Dahl’s famous writing hut. There is part of a bone from his hip on the table next to his first metal hip replacement, which didn’t take. There is a 10-pound ball of aluminium foil made from several years of Cadbury chocolate wrappers. There is a little surgical valve he invented that saved his son from hydrocephalus.

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“That night I was left to examine Dahl’s manuscripts in an office next to the guesthouse. An archivist made me wash my hands twice with special soap and told me to close all the curtains and lock the door when I was finished. I was alone with dozens of handwritten drafts with Dahl’s sketches in the margins, and I could see his whole process laid out in front of me.

“More than ever, I felt as if I were in Dahl’s presence.”

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