'The Personal History Of David Copperfield' Trailer: Armando Iannucci Brings Modern Energy To A Dickensian Classic

Armando Iannucci, the mind behind darkly funny, highly verbose comedies like In the Loop and The Death of Stalin, may not seem like the person to take on Charles Dickens. But that's exactly what he does, and does extremely well, with the hilarious, star-studded The Personal History of David Copperfield. Iannucci stays true to Dickens' text while also giving the film a modern sensibility, resulting in one of the year's most charming films. Watch The Personal History of David Copperfield trailer below.

The Personal History of David Copperfield Trailer

I caught The Personal History of David Copperfield at TIFF this year and had a blast. I was expecting director Armando Iannucci to update the material and give it his usual acidic, acerbic bite. But that's not what he does here at all. Instead, he sticks to the text but finds ways of making it feel fresh and new. The end result is hilarious and surprisingly sweet. Perhaps we're entering a new age of a kinder, gentler Iannucci. As I said in my review:

On the page, in Dickens's prose, these characters are silly but highly memorable – and believable. But that doesn't always translate to the screen, and one miscalculation could've saddled The Personal History of David Copperfield with a cast of insufferable, quirky weirdos. Instead, the cavalcade of characters who flit in and out of David's life all make one hell of an impact. We love spending time with them – just as we love spending time with this movie in general. The Personal History of David Copperfield is so warm, so inviting, so pure, that it will make your heart sing. We don't deserve a movie as overwhelmingly charming as this, but how lucky we are to have it.

Iannucci has stacked his cast with a cavalcade of Brit talent, including Dev Patel in the lead, supported by Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Peter Capaldi, Ben Whishaw, Paul Whitehouse, Aneurin Barnard, Benedict Wong, and Gwendoline Christie, all of whom are pretty wonderful. The Personal History of David Copperfield doesn't have an official U.S. release date yet, but it opens in the U.K. on January 10, 2020.

An avid Dickens fan, Armando Iannucci (the award-winning writer/director of The Thick of It, In the Loop, Veep and The Death of Stalin) adapts here, alongside frequent collaborator Simon Blackwell, employing his comedic mastery and vivid characterizations to bring to life one of Dickens' most cherished characters in THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD. From birth to infancy, from adolescence to adulthood, the good-hearted David Copperfield 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 is the most seductive tale of all.