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The film – Iannucci’s third feature following The Death of Stalin and In the Loop – will receive its European bow at the 2019 event on Oct. 2 at the Odeon Luxe in Leicester Square following a likely Toronto world premiere.
A fresh take on Dickens’ celebrated novel, The Personal History of David Copperfield boasts a stellar British cast, led by Dev Patel in the titular role and also including Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Peter Capaldi, Ben Whishaw, Paul Whitehouse and Gwendoline Christie. Adapted by Iannucci alongside frequent collaborator Simon Blackwell, the comedic tale centers on one of Dickens’ most cherished characters, the good-hearted David Copperfield, who is surrounded by kindness, wickedness, poverty and wealth as he meets an array of remarkable characters in Victorian England. As David sets out to be a writer in his quest for family, friendship, romance and status, the story of his life proves to be the most seductive tale of all.
“It’s a huge thrill and honor to be asked to open the fantastic BFI London Film Festival,” said Iannucci. “The Personal History of David Copperfield is a film about compassion, humor, generosity and friendship, and I couldn’t have asked for a more welcoming setting in which to premiere it.”
Added Tricia Tuttle, London Film Festival director: “Scotland’s Armando Iannucci is one of the most prodigiously talented and original filmmakers hailing from the U.K. 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 Personal History of David Copperfield will be released by Lionsgate UK and is a FilmNation Entertainment and Film4 Production. FilmNation are handling international sales and co-repping the U.S. sale with UTA.
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