Between The Thick of It, its film spin-off In the Loop, and Veep, Armando Iannucci is responsible for crafting some of the most nuanced yet hilarious political satire of past decade. Iannucci stepped down as Veep’s showrunner so he could write and direct his new film, The Death of Stalin and, judging by the film’s first trailer, it looks like Iannucci at his most slyly dark, frenzied, and gloriously absurd.
The Death of Stalin, based on Fabien Nury’s book of the same name, takes place in the Soviet Union in and revolves around Stalin’s core team of deputies as they struggle, bumble, and plot against one another to rise to power after the Russian leader suddenly dies. The film stars Adrian McLoughlin, Jeffrey Tambor, Steve Buscemi, Rupert Friend, and Jason Isaacs, all of whom play Russian operatives, but none of whom even tries on a Russian accent.
The trailer moves efficiently with a manic energy, and features a perfect line-reading from Buscemi, playing the future Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev, as he says “I’m the peacemaker and I’ll fuck up anyone who gets in my way.”
The Death of Stalin will premiere at The Toronto Film Festival and opens in theaters on October 20.