Armando Iannucci rose to prominence thanks to his often outrageous and always hilarious work as either the writer or director or both on The Day Today, The Thick Of It, In The Loop, and The Death Of Stalin, which was his recently released sophomore effort as a feature filmmaker.
That’s why it was something of a surprise to learn that Iannucci will be following up the biting satire by adapting Charles Dickens’ 1849 novel “David Copperfield.”
I recently had the opportunity to speak to Iannucci about “The Death Of Stalin,” during which time I asked for an update on “David Copperfield,” and for a break down on how he will mold his comedic sensibilities with the source material.
“I am doing the adaptation of Charles Dickens’ ‘David Copperfield’ in the summer. It is in the spirit of the book really. It will have funny moments, it will have sad moments, and dramatic moments.”
I then asked Iannucci whether he will replicate the same improvisational approach that he has used throughout his films and television shows on the film. “A little bit. We are trying to use the Dickens dialogue as much as possible.”
“But the way in which people behave I want people to look real and spontaneous, rather than, ‘We are in a costume drama. Therefore we have to speak like this’.”
“I want people to feel like they are there now, it is happening now, it is happening in front of them. This is for real. This isn’t some story that is happening a long, long time ago.”
Iannucci also revealed why he was originally attracted to the project, noting that the social and economic themes in “David Copperfield” are “very current” to today.
“It will be set in 1840, but the themes are very current. It is all about people aspiring to have more money, and losing money, and being embarrassed of the company that they keep, and having social status anxiety and so on.”
“And about childhood memories and how as you become an adult your view of childhood starts to change. So it is all resonant stuff.”
Armando Iannucci will direct the script that he co-wrote with Simon Blackwell, while Dev Patel will portray the titular character of “David Copperfield,” which should arrive at some point towards the end of 2019.
In the meantime, make sure to check out Iannucci’s latest film “The Death Of Stalin,” the release of which was just extended across the country.