The Personal History of David Copperfield

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The Personal History of David Copperfield
Directed byArmando Iannucci
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based onDavid Copperfield
by Charles Dickens
Music byChristopher Willis
CinematographyZac Nicholson
Edited byMick Audsley
Distributed byLionsgate UK
Release date
  • September 2019 (2019-09) (TIFF)
Running time
116 minutes[1]
  • United States
  • United Kingdom

The Personal History of David Copperfield is an upcoming film written and directed by Armando Iannucci, based on the Victorian era novel David Copperfield by Charles Dickens.

It will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2019.


The life of David Copperfield is chronicled from his youth into adulthood.



It was announced in February 2018 that Armando Iannucci would be writing, directing, and producing a new adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel. Iannucci wrote the screenplay alongside his co-writer Simon Blackwell.[2] Dev Patel was cast in the lead role later that month.[3] In April, the supporting cast was added, which included Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Aneurin Barnard, Ben Whishaw and Morfydd Clark.[4] In May 2018, Peter Capaldi was cast to play Mr. Micawber and pre-production was underway.[5]

Filming began in June 2018 in Norfolk and Suffolk, with Gwendoline Christie, Benedict Wong, Paul Whitehouse, and Daisy May Cooper joining the cast.[6][7] Scenes were shot in Hull,[8][9] Bury St Edmunds,[10] Weybourne[11] and King's Lynn in July.[12][13] Aimee Kelly was added to the cast the same month.[14] Principal photography on the film concluded in August 2018.[15] In filming David Copperfield, it became the first theatrical film production of the novel in 50 years. [16]


It will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2019,[17] followed by its European premiere on 2 October 2019, acting as the opening film of the 63rd BFI London Film Festival.[18]


  1. ^ "The Personal History of David Copperfield". Toronto International Film Festival. Retrieved July 23, 2019.
  2. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (1 February 2018). "FilmNation To Launch Armando Iannucci's 'Personal History Of David Copperfield' In Berlin". Deadline Hollywood.
  3. ^ "Dev Patel Joins Armando Iannucci's 'David Copperfield' Film".
  4. ^ Kroll, Justin (26 April 2018). "Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie Join Dev Patel in 'David Copperfield' (EXCLUSIVE)".
  5. ^ Mitchell, Robert (8 May 2018). "Peter Capaldi Re-Teams With Armando Iannucci for 'David Copperfield'".
  6. ^ Pochin, Courtney (10 May 2018). "David Copperfield adaptation starring Dev Patel and Tilda Swinton to be filmed in Norfolk". Eastern Daily Press. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Gwendoline Christie, Benedict Wong, Paul Whitehouse join Armando Iannucci's 'David Copperfield' (exclusive)".
  8. ^ Young, Angus (28 June 2018). "A major British film is being shot in Hull next week". Hull Live. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  9. ^ Robinson, Hannah (8 July 2018). "Full list of roads that will close as major British movie is filmed in Hull". Hull Live. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  10. ^ Derrick, Paul (3 July 2018). "PICTURES: David Copperfield film prepares to shoot scenes in Bury St Edmunds today". Bury Free Press. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  11. ^ Bethell, Karen (18 July 2018). "Dev Patel spotted filming scenes for David Copperfield movie on Norfolk beach". Eastern Daily Press. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  12. ^ Ali, Taz (7 June 2018). "Purfleet drained ahead of Dickens film adaptation". Lynn News. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  13. ^ "Dozens line the streets to watch star-studded cast shoot major movie". Eastern Daily Press. 19 July 2018. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  14. ^ N’Duka, Amanda (31 July 2018). "Carrie Preston To Star In 'Avalanche'; Taryn Manning Set For 'The Haunting of Nicole Brown Simpson'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  15. ^ Blackwell, Simon (9 August 2018). "Today is the last day of principal photography on our David Copperfield film". Twitter. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  16. ^ Clarke, Donald (26 Feb 2019). "What will win the 2020 best picture Oscar? Probably one of these". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2019-03-18.
  17. ^ Lang, Brent (July 23, 2019). "Toronto Film Festival: 'Joker,' 'Ford v Ferrari,' 'Hustlers' Among Big Premieres". Variety. Retrieved July 23, 2019.
  18. ^ "European premiere of Armando Iannucci's The Personal History of David Copperfield to open 63rd BFI London Film Festival". BFI. 16 July 2019. Retrieved 16 July 2019.

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