Armando Iannucci is unhappy 'Death of Stalin' was banned in Russia.

The 54-year-old filmmaker helmed the satirical comedy movie which focuses on the former Soviet Union dictator Joseph Stalin living out his final days and the chaos in the communist nation which erupts following his death.

However, the film was banned in Russia just two days before its initial release and Iannucci admitted he was ''sad'' because the film was widely praised among critics.

He told The I Paper: ''People say to me 'put that on your poster: banned in Russia'. I don't feel good about it. I feel sad, because it runs counter to what we experience in a democracy. Because the ban only happened two days before the release date, we had already gone through all the press screenings, and the press apparently all applauded when Stalin died. The Russians I've spoken to have said, 'It's true - it's funny, but it's true.' One cinema in Moscow did show it, until the police stopped them. But they got standing ovations at the end, because people know that what they've been told about Stalin is not the whole story.''

The film - which stars Jason Isaacs, Steve Buscemi, Olga Kurylenko, Jeffrey Tambor and 'Monty Python' legend Michael Palin - was nominated at this year's BAFTA Awards but ended up coming out empty handed, but Iannucci said it was ''nice'' to be recognised.

He said: ''It was nice that we were recognised in terms of nominations. You make these things thinking, 'This is a bit different, it's a bit of a risk, will people like it? I think I like it.' But if you spent your whole year worried about whether you were going to get a BAFTA or whatever, I think you'd go crazy.''

Now Iannucci is working on a movie adaptation of CHARLES DICKENS' 'David Copperfield' and defended casting Dev Patel as the titular role.

He said: ''I thought he'd make a great David Copperfield, because the character is wide-eyed and a bit naïve and then he realises his mistakes and becomes stronger. And Dev's got that, he's very winning, and young, and can be naive, and then in 'Lion' he was strong and determined.''