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(Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images for IWC)

BAFTA winner Dev Patel is set to play David Copperfield in a new film by Veep creator Armando Iannucci.

No, not that David Copperfield, silly. The one at the heart of Charles Dickens‘s 1850 novel, who suffers an impoverished and miserable childhood, before eventually becoming a successful and famous author.

Dev is in good company. The character has been played in the past by such luminaries as Sir Ian McKellen, Hugh Dancy, and a 10-year-old Daniel Radcliffe, in adaptations made for both film and TV.

According to Variety, Armando’s version is called The Personal Tale of David Copperfield, a nod to the novel’s original title of The Personal History, Adventures, Experience and Observation of David Copperfield the Younger of Blunderstone Rookery (Which He Never Meant to Publish on Any Account).

Yeah, okay. We can see why Dickens shortened that.

The film will be a modern retelling of the tale, considered by many to be the closest thing Dickens wrote to an autobiography. It also has plenty of scope for comedy, which works perfectly for the man behind Veep and Death of Stalin (not to mention The Thick of It and Alan Partridge).

Lead role David isn’t exactly a barrel of laughs, but along the way, he meets timeless Dickensian characters like Mr. Micawber, Uriah Heep, and Betsey Trotwood, prompting us to wonder which comedy greats in Armando’s contacts book are going to play them.

Can you see Dev as David?

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By Kat Sommers
Kat is a freelance writer for Anglophenia.