Armando Iannucci working on David Copperfield film

It's the Dickensian character, not the magician, but we're still very excited...

Article by Jamie Dunn | 10 May 2018
  • Armando Iannucci

It looks like Armando Iannucci’s follow-up to his brutal satire The Death of Stalin will be The Personal History of David Copperfield, which is described as a “fresh and modern” take on the life of the Dickens' character – not the creepy 80s magician. Iannucci (The Day Today, I'm Alan Partridge, The Thick of It) will be joined on script-writing duty by Simon Blackwell, who previously worked with Iannucci on the script for In the Loop and whose other credits include Four Lions with Chris Morris and the excellent Channel 4 comedy Back.

As reported on Screen International, Lion and Slumdog Millionaire star Dev Patel will play Copperfield, and he’ll be joined by an impressive supporting cast that includes Tilda Swinton, Peter Capaldi, Hugh Laurie, Ben Whishaw, Aneurin Barnard, Morfydd Clark, Anthony Welsh and Rosalind Eleazar. Iannucci will be in the director’s chair, with shooting expected to begin next month in the UK.

Lionsgate have snapped up the UK rights, with their CEO Zygi Kamasa saying that the “combination of Armando’s writing and directing and the source material of a classical masterpiece is a project that is irresistible to us. Add to that a renowned team behind the camera and a diverse and talented cast and you have a film guaranteed to excite audiences to add to our slate.”

Making an outlandish comment that wouldn’t look out of place on The Day Today, Iannucci describes David Copperfield as “The Infinity War of the 1840s”, before adding that he’s glad to be “reuniting with many of the talented crew behind The Death Of Stalin to make it.” We at The Skinny were huge fans of that wonderfully dark satire (read our five-star Death Of Stalin review) and will always be first in line for whatever Iannucci releases – look out for more details on this project in the coming months.