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David Copperfield adaptation starring Dev Patel and Tilda Swinton to be filmed in Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 14:22 10 May 2018 | UPDATED: 16:36 10 May 2018

A new adaptation of David Copperfield is set to be filmed in Norfolk.  (L-R) Tilda Swinton (Photo: PA Archive/PA Images), Charles Dickens (Photo: Archant Library) and Dev Patel (Photo: PA Archive/PA Images)

A new adaptation of David Copperfield is set to be filmed in Norfolk. (L-R) Tilda Swinton (Photo: PA Archive/PA Images), Charles Dickens (Photo: Archant Library) and Dev Patel (Photo: PA Archive/PA Images)

Archant

It famously featured parts of Norfolk as the wild backdrop to its tumultuous plot.

Victorian novelist Charles Dickens stayed at the Royal Hotel in Great Yarmouth. Photo: Archant LibraryVictorian novelist Charles Dickens stayed at the Royal Hotel in Great Yarmouth. Photo: Archant Library

And now one of history’s greatest novels is coming back to Norfolk - as a star-studded movie.

A new adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic David Copperfield will be filmed in Nelson’s County under the directorial eye of Alan Partridge creator Armando Iannucci.

The film is billed as a modern take on the tale, with Slumdog Millionaire star Dev Patel stepping into the title role.

Actor Hugh Laurie poses backstage  at the 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)Actor Hugh Laurie poses backstage at the 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)

Other members of the cast include Oscar-winner Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Ben Whishaw and ex Doctor Who Peter Capaldi.

First published as a serial between 1849-50, Dickens’ semi-autobiographical novel follows protagonist David Copperfield from childhood to maturity and features several major links to East Anglia - with Copperfield being born in Blundeston and later sent to live in Great Yarmouth.

Dickens stayed in the Norfolk coastal town for two days in 1849, visiting the Royal Hotel on Marine Parade.

Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi. Photo: Ian West/PA WireDoctor Who star Peter Capaldi. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire

In the novel the town is given high praise, being described as follows: “Yarmouth was, upon the whole, the finest place in the universe.”

While writing the film’s script, Iannucci and comedy writer Simon Blackwell (The Thick of It, Peep Show, Veep), headed to Great Yarmouth to conduct research on the area.

The movie was first announced in March 2015 as part of BBC Films’ 25th anniversary celebrations and was described as a “fresh take” on the novel.

Casting call for The Personal History of David Copperfield, set to film in Norfolk this summer. Photo: Two 10 CastingCasting call for The Personal History of David Copperfield, set to film in Norfolk this summer. Photo: Two 10 Casting

The film is currently seeking Norfolk-based extras to assist with the production.

A casting call by Two 10 Casting said: “We are looking for men and women with amazing period hair for a new feature film. Filming in June and July, specific dates TBC.”

Filming is set to take place across multiple locations in Norfolk.

Those aged over 16, with completed GCSEs and the right to work in the UK can apply to be an extra via two10casting.com

On May 10, Lionsgate UK announced it had taken the British rights to the movie.

In a statement, Armando Iannucci said: “I’m thrilled to be teaming up with Lionsgate in the UK to be making this wonderful story about poverty and riches, and friendship and loss.

“With such an amazing and immense cast, David Copperfield is the Infinity War of the 1840s.”

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