Donald Trump as satire? Too soon, says graphic novelist Fabien Nury, whose The Death of Stalin has been turned into an Armando Iannucci-directed movie set for a U.S. release by IFC Films March 9, 2018.
“We’re all waiting for that final tweet,” Nury said about the potential for some Trumpian comedy. “The ‘my kingdom for a horse’ tweet.”
In other words, he said, the story of Trump’s presidency can’t really be turned into satire or even decent drama until everyone knows how it turns out. Dramatists and Hollywood came calling only for Richard Nixon after Watergate, he said, “not the 1968 election.”
The Death of Stalin, directed by Iannucci (the Veep creator was scheduled to attend the Comic Con event but canceled for undisclosed reasons), stars Jeffrey Tambor, Steve Buscemi, Olga Kurylenko, Michael Palin, Simon Russell Beale, Paddy Considine, Andrea Riseborough, Adrian McLoughlin, Rupert Friend, Jason Isaacs, and Paul Whitehouse in a story too bizarre to be anything but true.
The screenplay, written by Iannucci, David Schneider and Ian Martin adapted from Nury’s graphic novel, tells the story not so much of the actual demise of the Soviet dictator – though a clip shown during Nury’s panel didn’t shy away from the urine-soaked death scene – but its aftermath, as the struggle for power within the Kremlin took on absurd, darkly comic twists and turns.
The film screened at the 2017 Toronto Film Festival, and last month Russian officials said they were considering a ban. Nury told the New York audience the story might be as timely now as anytime during the Cold War. The Death of Stalin, he said, was about the Age of Propaganda, but with recent headlines about Facebook and fake news, “maybe we have the true age of propaganda now.”