Death dealing dictator Stalin is not the most obvious candidate for a comedy but the graphic novel The Death of Stalin by Fabien Nury and Thierry Robin gave it a go and if anyone can make it into a funny film it will be British Writer/Producer Armando Iannucci. You may not know his name but he is the man behind many of the greatest recent comedy shows of recent times including ‘The Day Today’, ‘Knowing me Knowing You with Alan Partridge’, ‘The Thick of It’ & ‘Veep’ and will be directing the film of ‘The Death of Stalin’ which began principal photography today, with filming taking place in England and Ukraine.
It’s set in the days following the Russian leader’s stroke in 1953 as his core team of ministers tussle for control and will star Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire), Simon Russell Beale (Into the Woods), Paddy Considine (Macbeth), Rupert Friend (Homeland), Jason Isaacs(Harry Potter), Olga Kurylenko (Oblivion), Michael Palin(A Fish Called Wanda), Andrea Riseborough (Birdman), Paul Whitehouse (Alice in Wonderland) and Jeffrey Tambor (Transparent) with Adrian McLoughlin (Thunderpants) as Stalin.
Iannucci was Oscar-nominated as the writer for the film ‘In The Loop’ and has written the screenplay for the film with David Schneider and Ian Martin with additional material by Peter Fellows.
Iannucci said: “The Death of Stalin has everything: comedy, tragedy, truth, lies, life, death, bravery and cowardice. All under the shadow of Stalin’s Terror. So I’m really pleased we have an amazingly multifaceted cast who can give us all these things and more. It’s an unbelievable ensemble – great actors, brilliant comedians, fantastic personalities – and together they give us all the horrific drama and base absurdity of the crazy last days of Stalin and the power-struggle to succeed him.”
There’s no release date yet but expect it sometime in 2017.