July 28, 2010 at 12:00 PM EDT

Paul Giamatti has signed on to play Nikita Khrushchev in an HBO biopic about the U.S.S.R. leader’s two-week visit to the United States in 1959, according to Variety. The film, based on the Peter Carlson book K Blows Top, will be exec produced by Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman through their Playtone production company. Giamatti last appeared on HBO two years ago as the title figure in the Playtone miniseries John Adams.

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