David Copperfield adaptation to open LFF

Armando Iannucci's 'fresh take' stars Dev Patel

by Amber Wilkinson

Dev Patel in The Personal History Of David Copperfield which will open LFF
Dev Patel in The Personal History Of David Copperfield which will open LFF Photo: Courtesy of London Film Festival
The European premiere of Armando Iannucci's The Personal History Of David Copperfield will open this year's London Film Festival on October 2, presumably after a debut in Toronto the month before.

The Charles Dickens adaptation stars Dev Patel as the young man who, after an unhappy childhood, discovers he has a talent for writing and tries to find his place in the world.

Iannucci has written and directed this "fresh take" on the story with his frequent collaborator Simon Blackwell. It features a strong British cast, including Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Peter Capaldi, Ben Whishaw, Paul Whitehouse and Gwendoline Christie.

Whishaw steps into the shoes of Uriah Heep, while Capaldi takes on the role of continual optimist Mr Micawber and Laurie co-stars as the childlike Mr Dick. Christie, meanwhile, plays the austere and unpleasant Jane Murdstone, while Swinton will be Betsey Trotwood - Copperfield's great-aunt who finally takes the young man under her wing.

Iannucci said: “It’s a huge thrill and honour to be asked to open the fantastic BFI London Film Festival. The Personal History of David Copperfield is a film about compassion, humour, generosity and friendship, and I couldn’t have asked for a more welcoming setting in which to premiere it.”

LFF director Tricia Tuttle added: “Scotland’s Armando Iannucci is one of the most prodigiously talented and original filmmakers hailing from the UK. The Personal History of David Copperfield shows his trademark wit and a joyous sense of style — it’s a delight from start to finish, with Dev Patel and co-stars delivering performances of megawatt charm and comic flair.

"I’m so excited to be opening the 63rd BFI London Film Festival with this film which is not only wildly entertaining but also a timely celebration of the power of generosity and compassion.”

The festival runs from October 2 to 13 and The Personal History Of David Copperfield will go on to be released in UK cinemas by Lionsgate UK. It has not yet secured a US distributor.

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