“The Personal History of David Copperfield,” with Dev Patel as the titular character, will open the BFI London Film Festival on Oct. 2. The new take on Charles Dickens’ classic tale comes from Armando Iannucci and stars Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Peter Capaldi, Ben Whishaw, Paul Whitehouse and Gwendoline Christie, many of whom will grace the red carpet at the gala screening at the Odeon Leicester Square, the movie’s European premiere.
Iannucci’s credits “Veep” and “The Death of Stalin.” An avowed Dickens fan, he adapted “David Copperfield” with his frequent collaborator Simon Blackwell.
“It’s a huge thrill and honor to be asked to open the fantastic BFI London Film Festival,” Iannucci said. “‘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.”
BFI London Film Festival director Tricia Tuttle said: “Iannucci is one of the most prodigiously talented and original filmmakers hailing from the U.K.” She added: “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 film will be released in Britain by Lionsgate UK and is a FilmNation Entertainment and Film4 Production. FilmNation is handling international sales and co-repping the U.S. sale with UTA.
The 63rd BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express runs Oct. 2-13.