Dev Patel fans rejoice; your favorite actor stars in not one, but two highly-anticipated films, the trailers of which dropped recently.
In David Lowerey’s medieval fantasy film, “The Green Knight,” Patel is seen as Sir Gawain, the bad-boy nephew of King Arthur. And in “The Personal History of David Copperfield,” Patel stars as the title character.
In “The Green Knight,” Patel embarks on a journey to slay the Green Knight, played by Ralph Ineson. Joel Edgerton, Barry Keoghan, Alicia Vikander, and Sarita Choudhury co-star in the film, which is to be released on May 29.
In a review of the film’s trailer, the polygon.com says, the film looks like “a significant departure from Lowery’s previous films, ‘The Old Man & the Gun’ and ‘A Ghost Story’, but it still showcases Lowery’s meticulous sense of style and seamless blending of the real and the fantastical.”
On the other hand, “The Personal History of David Copperfield, based on Charles Dickens’ classic novel, tells the story of David Copperfield (Patel) from youth into adulthood. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. It will release in theaters on May 8. This new take on the Charles Dickens’ favorite comes from director Armando Iannucci, best known for his work on HBO’s “Veep.”
According to a report in W magazine, there was initial criticism to Patel’s casting as the film’s protagonist.
“When it was announced in 2018 that Patel, an English actor of Indian descent, was cast as the Victorian-era protagonist, some critics raised their eyebrows and decried the film’s ‘historical inaccuracy,’” the magazine said.
However, according to the W report, Patel is not the only actor of color to star in the film. Starring alongside Hugh Laurie, Tilda Swinton, and Ben Whishaw, is Benedict Wong as Mr. Wickfield, Rosalind Eleazar as Agnes, and Nikki Amuka-Bird as Mrs. Steerforth.
Meanwhile, Patel has lauded Iannucci’s “brave” decision to cast him in the film. He told Yahoo Movies UK that it is a rare example of an actor of color being cast to play a traditionally white part.
The 29-year-old actor said he hopes this casting decision “sets a trend” that opens up classic roles to non-white performers. “As a young actor, all you want to be able to do is play and explore,” Patel told Yahoo Movies UK.
“You don’t get into this industry to be boxed or pigeon-holed. The very nature of this job is about curiosity and it should be boundless.
In an earlier interview with The Irish Times, Patel admitted that he wasn’t a fan of Charles Dickens when he was growing up in London. He said the author’s “classic novels seemed dull and dark and miserable” to him. “I think we probably started with Oliver Twist, or something like that, and it was grim,” he told the paper. “I know it’s blasphemous even saying it,”he added. “But there were these grey, bleak worlds of suffering and I was a child. You just end up gazing outside the window to the rain.”