The project is based on the novel by Charles Dickens and will offer a modern take on the title character as he navigates a chaotic world to find his elusive place within it. The original “David Copperfield” was first published in 1850 and describes the journey of the titular protagonist — who was modeled after Dickens himself, from impoverished childhood to becoming a successful author, thanks to perseverance and despite a lack of personal discipline.
Kevin Loader and Iannucci will produce the feature, which was developed with FilmNation. Iannucci, the creator of “Veep,” unveiled the title in October. He is directing from a script he wrote with Simon Blackwell. Iannucci and Blackwell collaborated with Tony Roche and Jesse Armstrong on the script for “In the Loop,” which received an Academy Award nomination.
Principal casting on “The Personal History of David Copperfield” is underway and principal photography is expected to begin in June in the U.K. FilmNation will handle international sales at EFM, which launches on Feb. 14 in conjunction with the Berlin Film Festival, and co-rep U.S. sales with UTA Independent Film Group.
“We are thrilled to work with Armando in bringing to film lovers everywhere this classic story that’s a genuine mastery of character and world-building,” said FilmNation Entertainment CEO Glen Basner.
Iannucci created HBO’s political comedy “Veep” as an adaptation of his British sitcom “The Thick of It” and was the “Veep” showrunner for the first four seasons, from 2012 to 2015. He directed the 2017 feature film “The Death of Stalin” and co-wrote the script with David Schneider, Ian Martin, and Peter Fellows.
Iannucci is represented by UTA and by Lucy Fairney at PBJ Management in the U.K.
FilmNation will also be selling Amazon Studios’ “The Aeronauts,” starring Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, to be directed by Tom Harper at the EFM. FilmNation sales title “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot,” directed by Gus Van Sant, will screen in competition at the festival.