Scottish filmmaker and TV showrunner Armando Iannucci is best known for modern-day political satire, from his mid-2000s British series “The Thick of It” to the HBO hit “Veep.”
But for his new film, he turned to historical material that doesn’t seem like a natural fit for laughs. “The Death of Stalin” follows Nikita Khruschev (Steve Buscemi), Georgy Malenkov (Jeffrey Tambor) and Lavrentiy Beria (Simon Russell Beale) scrambling for power in the aftermath of the death of Joseph Stalin in 1953.
“The comedy adds to the level of hysteria,” Iannucci told TheWrap editor-in-chief Sharon Waxman in a video interview at the Toronto Film Festival. “The fact that you’re scrambling for the right to say because if you get it wrong, you might be next.”
IFC has acquired “The Death of Stalin” for release in the U.S.
For more from Iannucci on the film, watch the video above.