Armando Iannucci defends Dev Patel's colourblind casting in David Copperfield film

London, Dec 31 (PTI) Director Armando Iannucci says he consciously decided to ignore the skin colour of his actors in the multi-ethnic cast of his film 'The Personal History of David Copperfield'.

The costume-drama made headlines when British-Indian actor Dev Patel was chosen by the filmmaker to play Copperfield in his modern reimagining of the Charles Dickens novel, first published in 1850 and set in England.

'It just felt like, why are we not doing this? It's when I thought of Dev as David. He said: 'Do I have an Indian father?' No. Although it's set in 1840. For the people in the film it's the present day. And it's an exciting present,' Iannucci told The Guardian.

The modern retelling will see the character navigate a chaotic world to find his place in it.

The original 'David Copperfield' chronicles the journey of the titular protagonist, which was based on the author himself.

Iannucci said amid Brexit, he wanted to celebrate the true essence of the country.

'It wasn't a conscious reaction to Brexit, but the conversation has gone very insular in terms of what Britain is and what it doesn't want to be. I wanted to celebrate what Britain actually is, and it's much more of a carefree, enjoyable, humorous kind of zesty, energetic place,' he said.

Also featuring Peter Capaldi, Tilda Swinton, Morfydd Clark, Rosalind Eleazar, Ben Whishaw, among others, 'The Personal History of David Copperfield' is slated to be released in the UK on January 10. PTI RDS BK BK