Trump Movie Director Claps Back At Criticism, Lawsuit Threats: 'No Nice Metaphorical Way To Deal With Fascism'

Zinger Key Points
  • A biopic on Donald Trump premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.
  • The movie has been threatened with a lawsuit by Trump's team ahead of a potential theatrical premiere in 2024.

A new biopic about former President Donald Trump has stirred controversy after premiering at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this week.

The film's director is ready for the world to see the film ahead of the 2024 election and is not scared by potential legal action from Trump.

What Happened: Trump biopic "The Apprentice" premiered at Cannes Film Festival and saw an eight-minute standing ovation after its conclusion.

The film stars Sebastian Stan as Trump and Jeremey Strong as Roy Cohn. The relationship between Cohn and Trump as a mentor and protegee storyline is the main focus of the movie, set in the 1970s and 1980s.

“It charts a young Donald Trump’s ascent to power through a Faustian deal with the influential right-wing lawyer and political fixer Roy Cohn,” the synopsis reads.

The movie has prompted calls of a lawsuit from Trump's team. Trump's spokesperson Steven Cheung told Variety that the film was "pure fiction" and was possible election interference.

"This ‘film' is pure malicious defamation, should not see the light of day, and doesn't even deserve a place in the straight-to-DVD section of a bargain bin at a soon-to-be-closed discount movie store, it belongs in a dumpster fire," Cheung said.

The film's director Ali Abbasi has fought back against the potential lawsuit.

"There is no nice metaphorical way to deal with fascism," Abbasi said. "It's time to make movies relevant. It's time to make movies political again."

The film has sparked controversy with scenes depicting the alleged rape of Trump's first wife, Ivana Trump, racial discrimination in Trump's real estate business, drug use for weight loss, and other actions that cast the former president in a negative light. Ivana initially spoke out about the rape after their divorce but recanted her statement years later.

After news of a potential lawsuit from Trump's team circulated, Abbasi responded and offered to screen the movie for the former president, according to Deadline.

"Everybody talks about him suing a lot of people – they don't talk about his success rate though, you know?"

Abbasi said that Trump and his team might be surprised by the movie.

"I don't necessarily think that this is a movie he would dislike. I don't necessarily think he would like it. I think he would be surprised, you know?

Related Link: Playing Donald Trump On Film: Actor Goes From Playing Marvel Superhero, Musician Tommy Lee, Robinhood Founder Vlad Tenev To Former President

What's Next: As previously reported by Benzinga, the film premiering at the Cannes Film Festival surprised some movie experts. Principal photography began in November 2023 and wrapped up in January 2024.

Many expected the film to make a premiere at a film festival in August or September 2024 given the timeline. With a premiere at Cannes, the film could now hit theaters or a streaming platform ahead of the 2024 election.

"We have a promotional event coming up called U.S. Election that is going to help us with the movie. The second debate is going to be Sept. 15, something like that, so that's a good release date I would say," Abbasi said.

The big question will be how much interest the movie sees given the controversy and potential lawsuits that could delay its launch.

Billionaire Dan Snyder, who previously owned the Washington Commanders, is one of the investors of "The Apprentice" movie. Snyder is said to be displeased with the final film, according to Variety.

Snyder has previously donated over $1 million to Trump's presidential efforts in the 2016 and 2020 elections according to the report. The billionaire invested in the movie believing it would portray Trump positively, according to the report.

Other investors in the film also include the Irish and Danish governments and Justin Trudeau's Canadian government, Variety reported.

The launch of the controversial film comes as Trump is facing criminal charges in a trial that alleges he falsified business records related to hush money payments made to adult actress Stormy Daniels.

Read Next: Trump Vs. Biden: Hush Money Trial Fails To Dampen Support, Trump Maintains 1-Point Lead In 2024 Election Poll

Photo: Shutterstock

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Posted In: EntertainmentPoliticsTop Stories2024 electionCannesCannes Film FestivalDonald TrumpIvana TrumpJustin TrudeaumoviesRoy CohnSebastian StanSteven CheungThe Apprentice
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