UK box office preview: ‘The Personal History Of David Copperfield’ takes on horror titles, strong holdovers

Screen | 1/24/2020 | Ben Dalton
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Armando Iannucci’s The Personal History Of David Copperfield is the prominent new title this weekend, as the latest Charles Dickens adaptation looking to make a mark with UK audiences.

Dickens’ oeuvre has inspired over one hundred film adaptations across theatrical, TV and streaming releases. His most frequently adapted book is his 1843 novel A Christmas Carol, which has formed the basis of almost 50 screen works.

Iannucci - Film - Toronto - Time - Dickens

Iannucci’s film, which launched at Toronto 2019, marks the ninth time Dickens’ 1849 book David Copperfield has been reproduced on screen. It takes its name from the novel’s full title, The Personal History, Adventures, Experience and Observation of David Copperfield the Younger of Blunderstone Rookery.

Previous versions include a 1935 black-and-white feature directed by renowned literary adaptor George Cukor; a 1969 television film with Laurence Olivier and Richard Attenborough among the cast; a 1993 animated musical in which John Lennon’s son Julian voices the lead role and the human characters take the form of cats; and a 1999 two-part BBC television drama with pre-Harry Potter Daniel Radcliffe as young David Copperfield.

Iannucci - Feature - Film - Director - First

This is Iannucci’s third feature film as director. His first was 2009 The Thick Of It spin-off In The Loop, which opened to £468,954 and ended on £2.2m, securing Iannucci a best adapted screenplay Oscar nomination in the process.

In 2017 he directed historical satire The Death Of Stalin, which opened to £994,912 and ended on £5.2m, as well as winning four Bifas and achieving Bafta nominations for outstanding British film and best adapted screenplay.

Screen - Star - Tomorrow - Dev - Patel

Screen Star of Tomorrow 2008 Dev Patel takes the titular role, with fellow Stars of Tomorrow Anna Maxwell Martin (2004), Aneurin Barnard (2009), and Morfydd Clark (2016) also on the cast.

Patel’s highest-grossing title is still his breakthrough role, 2008’s Slumdog Millionaire, which opened to £1.8m and ended on a huge...
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