Entertainment & Arts

Armando Iannucci to make David Copperfield film

Armando Iannucci Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Armando Iannucci previously made a BBC documentary exploring the world of Charles Dickens

The Thick of It creator Armando Iannucci is adapting a new version of Charles Dickens' David Copperfield for the big screen.

The film is still in the early stages of development, but BBC Films said it would be a "fresh take" on the novel.

"[Iannucci] is a Dickens aficionado, so he wants it to be very authentic but it will have his own sensitivity," BBC Films' Christine Langan said.

The movie was announced as part of BBC Films' 25th anniversary celebrations.

Other new films set for production include two other literary adaptations - Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons and Julian Barnes' Booker Prize winning novel The Sense of an Ending.

The latter will be written by playwright Nick Payne, whose Royal Court play Constellations was a hit in the West End and on Broadway.

Rafe Spall, who starred in Constellations in London, will take the lead role of Captain Flint in Swallows and Amazons, which was last adapted for the big screen in 1974.

Image caption Rafe Spall will star in a new version of Swallows and Amazons which BBC Films say 'modern audiences can relate to'

BBC Films said the new version will be set a few years later than the novel, but would remain "faithful" to the original story.

Oscar winner Colin Firth is also set to star in a film following the true story of amateur sailor Donald Crowhurst and his attempt to win the first single-handed round-the-world yacht race in 1968.

It will be helmed by The Theory Of Everything's director James Marsh.

Documentaries on singer Grace Jones and ballet dancer Sergei Polunin - who dramatically walked out on the Royal Ballet - are also in the works.

BBC Two will celebrate BBC Films' 25th anniversary with a week of its titles, including the premieres of Great Expectations and Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, in May.

"We're so proud to celebrate 25 years of flying the flag for British film," Langan said.

"Since Anthony Minghella's unique Truly Madly Deeply, BBC Films has played a vital role in finding and nurturing the British talent at the heart of so many successful films. BBC Films stands not just for great British talent, but amazing British stories."

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