Now that he’s gotten his fill of making fun of American politics with Veep, writer/director Armando Iannucci is turning his attention to Russia with The Death of Stalin, a comedy film set just after the communist leader kicks the can.
According to Vulture, Steve Buscemi, Jeffrey Tambor, Rupert Friend, and Jason Isaacs all play Stalin’s underlings who squabble for power after he’s passed. And—given that this is 1950s Russia on the brink of collapse—they’re all scared for their lives.
Tambor (Transparent) plays Stalin’s wholly incompetent right-hand man, and the trailer finds him either wildly misspeaking or screaming something totally inappropriate. Buscemi—drawing from his experience with Boardwalk Empire—plays a vicious, conniving politician who vows to “fuck up anyone who gets in my way.” The two powerhouses brawl alongside Stalin’s son (Homeland‘s Friend), top general (The OA‘s Issac), and a host of other Russian oligarchs desperate to take over before the country crumbles.
From the looks of the trailer, Iannucci applies the same absurdist, comedic take to communism and death that he’s used to make America’s bleak political shit-show even more laughable.
The Death of Stalin is headed to the Toronto International Film Festival in September. Stay tuned for an official release date.