Film4 Boards Armando Iannucci's 'The Personal History of David Copperfield'

Phillip Faraone/Getty Images
Armando Iannucci

The buzzed-about film is set to star Dev Patel, Tilda Swinton and Hugh Laurie.

Film4 has come aboard Armando Iannucci’s upcoming The Personal History of David Copperfield as a key financier alongside FilmNation.

The buzzed-about film — which is set to star Dev Patel, Tilda Swinton and Hugh Laurie and is a hot item in Cannes — will mark the first time that Film4 has collaborated with Iannucci (The Death of Stalin, Veep).

“We’re a significant co-financier,” said Film4’s head of creative Ollie Madden. “For us, getting involved to this significant degree is partly to do with the film — and in this case we love it. But it’s also about building a relationship with Armando, and I hope we go on to make other films with him.”

In Cannes, Lionsgate picked up David Copperfield — set to be a fresh take on Charles Dickens’ semi-autobiographical masterpiece — for the U.K., while the project, which FilmNation is offering to buyers, has practically sold out elsewhere internationally.

David Copperfield adds to a growing slate for Film4, which backed the Oscar-winning Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and boasts the critically lauded Cold War in Cannes' official competition. The banner has a number of major new projects set to go into production soon, including Calm With Horses, starring Barry Keoghan, How to Build a Girl, based on Caitlin Moran’s best-selling book; a Charlie Chaplin doc; and Justin Kurzel’s The True History of the Kelly Gang, starring Russell Crowe, George MacKay, Nicholas Hoult and Essie Davis.

“[The Kelly Gang] is going to be so cool. [Kurzel] has given it this punk aesthetic," said Madden. "It’s not going to be your mother’s — or grandmother’s — Kelly Gang.” 

A version of this story appears in The Hollywood Reporter's May 13 daily issue from the Cannes Film Festival.