Armando Iannucci has emerged as one of the great modern satirists, a writer with a remarkable ear for the petty squabbling and power-fueled mania of the political process. Iannucci understands well that most of the reality of politics is far less glamorous than many films try to capture, an endless slog of quadruple-crosses and backdoor deals between friends and enemies alike. So it stands to reason that, following The Thick of It and the soon-to-be-concluded Veep, he’d return to theaters by looking back at one of the many (many) incidents that brought the world to the point it’s reached these days.
The Death of Stalin, based on the graphic novel of same name by Fabien Nury and Thierry Robin, chronicles the days leading up to and directly following the passing of Josef Stalin in 1953, and the gaping vacuum of power that arose in the immediate wake of his death. But since this is an Iannucci film, it’s a savagely funny and satiric recounting of the many faces attempting to jockey for position at the head of a new Soviet Union. With a sprawling ensemble cast (Jeffrey Tambor, Steve Buscemi, Olga Kurylenko, Michael Palin, Andrea Riseborough, and Jason Isaacs are just a few of the many familiar faces on hand) and some pretty substantial buzz coming out of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, the director’s latest seems poised to offer another lacerating gaze into the hell of bureaucracy, in the vein of his In the Loop.
The feature is already slated for an October 20th release in the United Kingdom, but as far as an American release is concerned, it’s unlikely most audiences here will see it before 2018. For now, you can check out the film’s latest trailer, highlighting just some of the rapid-fire barbs one can surely expect whenever The Death of Stalin enters into worldwide release. (Well, except for in Russia, anyway.)