Trump plans lawsuit over film at Cannes


Donald Trump’s legal team intends to start a lawsuit after a film about this businessman and former American president’s formative years made its debut at the Cannes Film Festival this week.

Manufacturers of The Apprentice however, this film, which tells a story of, among other things, rape and betrayal, allows viewers to feel “sympathy” towards Trump.

The Apprentice was launched in Cannes on Monday and is about Trump’s formative years as an ambitious young New York real estate developer in the 1970s and 1980s.

Sebastian Stan, who plays rocker Tommy Lee in the Hulu series Pam and Tommy played, plays the role of Trump in this movie.

Jeremy Strong from Succession-fame plays Trump’s ruthless mentor and lawyer Roy Cohn.

Both actors have already been praised in reviews.

“Trump’s team should wait to see the movie before they start suing us,” Ali Abbasi, the director, told reporters in Cannes this week. “I don’t think it’s necessarily a movie he won’t like… I think he’ll be surprised.”

However, Steven Cheung, spokesman for Trump’s presidential campaign, says a lawsuit is on the way “to stamp out the blatantly false claims of these pretend filmmakers.

“This rubbish is pure fiction that presents lies, which have long been disproved, as sensationalism,” Cheung said in a statement to AFP.

The film offers a nuanced look at Trump, with the first half portraying him as an ambitious but naive climber of the social ladder in New York. However, in the second half of the movie, Trump’s fairness diminishes as he masters the dark arts of deals and power.

The most controversial scene is undoubtedly that of Trump raping his first wife, Ivana, after she belittled him for getting fat and his hair receding.

In real life, she accused Trump of raping her during their divorce. However, she later retracted this damning claim. She died in 2022.

Donald Trump

The Apprentice kicks off with a young Trump who is obsessed with becoming part of the New York elite and dreams of his own luxury hotel, while spending his days collecting rent from his father’s tenants.

His life later changes when he meets Cohn – a man whose lessons such as “admit nothing, deny everything” become Trump’s so-called manifesto in later years.

Abbasi maintains that the film intends to deconstruct “the mythological image” of the two characters (Trump and Cohn) and portray them as real people.

“With that comes understanding. With that comes sympathy. It doesn’t necessarily mean you forgive them for everything they’ve done.”

The screenplay was written by Gabriel Sherman, a journalist who at one stage worked for the New York Observer wrote and frequently interviewed Trump.

However, Sherman says the film caught wind of Hollywood and was eventually financed by the Canadian, Irish and Danish governments. “We couldn’t make it in the American system. In many ways and in certain circumstances, Hollywood does not want to make headlines.”

The film makes its debut a few months before the US presidential election, in which Trump will probably run for the second time against Pres. Joe Biden will face.

“We have a promotional event, also known as the American presidential election, which will help us with the (marketing of the) movie,” joked Abbasi in Cannes this week.

It is speculated that The Apprentice possibly by the time of the second debate between Biden and Trump in September this year in the US.