Perhaps feeling exhausted by the current state of American politics, Iannucci stepped down as showrunner of Veep in 2015 to focus on other ventures. Often hailed as, ironically, the most accurate portrayal of American government in entertainment, the absurdist Veep has sometimes been trumped by reality: Last year, the show was forced to remove a “golden shower” joke after the gag became too real.

The Death of Stalin allows Iannucci to make light of a doomed political regime while avoiding comparisons to current governments. The power struggle over Stalin’s vacant seat resulted in the execution of Soviet politician Lavrentiy Beria (played in the film by English actor Simon Russell Beale) and the rise of Nikita Khrushchev (Buscemi) to the head of the Communist party.

The film will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2017 before being released to theaters in October.

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