“Homeland” star Rupert Friend has joined the cast of “Veep” creator Armando Iannucci’s movie “The Death of Stalin,” which toplines “Boardwalk Empire’s” Steve Buscemi, Simon Russell Beale (“Into the Woods,” “My Week with Marilyn”), and Paddy Considine (“Macbeth,” “The World’s End”). Pic is shooting in England and Ukraine.
Also in the ensemble cast are Jason Isaacs (“Fury,” “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”), Olga Kurylenko (“Oblivion,” “Quantum of Solace”), Michael Palin (“Life of Brian,” “A Fish Called Wanda”), Andrea Riseborough (“Birdman,” “Oblivion”), Paul Whitehouse (“Alice in Wonderland,” “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”) and Jeffrey Tambor (“Transparent,” “Arrested Development”) with Adrian McLoughlin (“Thunderpants”) as Stalin.
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.”
“’The Death of Stalin’ is based on true events and set in the days following Stalin’s collapse as his core team of ministers tussle for control; some want positive change in the Soviet Union, others have more sinister motives. Their one common trait? They’re all just desperately trying to remain alive,” according to the press statement.
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The pic is based on the graphic novel “The Death of Stalin” by Fabien Nury and Thierry Robin. The screenplay has been written by Iannucci, David Schneider and Ian Martin with additional material by Peter Fellows, and the film is produced by Yann Zenou, Nicolas Duval-Adassovsky, Laurent Zeitoun (“Untouchables,” “Heartbreaker”) and Kevin Loader (“The Lady in the Van,” “In the Loop”). The pic is a Quad, Main Journey and Free Range Films production, in co-production with Gaumont.
Gaumont will handle the French theatrical and video release, along with international sales, and locked key pre-sales last Cannes Film Festival, including Concorde/Telemunchen in Germany, Madman in Australia, Odeon in Greece, Ascot Elite in Switzerland and Kinoswiat in Poland.