Home Movies Oscars: Fox Searchlight Picks Up Much-Anticipated “David Copperfield” Starring Dev Patel from...

Fox Searchlight hedged their Oscar bets today.

Now functioning with Disney, the FS label– which has a host of Oscar winners and nominees in the past– has to prove itself this fall.

So they’ve picked up Armando Iannucci’s “The Personal History of David Copperfield,” which is debuting at the Toronto Film Festival and then opening the London Film Festival. The updating of Charles Dickens’ famous novel stars Dev Patel, Tilda Swinton,Hugh Laurie, Peter Capaldi, Ben Whishaw, and Gwendolyn Christie.

FS says they’re planning a 2020 release, but if reaction in the US is strong, this could be one of their Oscar contenders. Certainly, the momentum would be there to go for a December release and shoot for awards.

Right now, FS is depending on Terrence Malick’s “A Hidden Life” to propel them into awards season. They’ve also got “Jojo Rabbit,” a satire from Taika Waititi that looks like “Springtime for Hitler.” It could be big, or a mistake. No one knows yet. Malick’s film was a hit in Cannes, but that’s with reviewers. FS will have to wait and see how it plays to audiences before dancing an Oscar jig.

“David Copperfield,” however, has all the provenance for the Oscars. Plus, “Veep” is going to sweep at the Emmys, so Iannucci will be in the news. By the looks of it, “Copperfield” could have been a Miramax Oscar entry without question. Harvey would have loved that one (except he’d have put Judi Dench in it).

So here we go. Pulses are quickening. The season is about to begin.

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