Trump Lawyers Send Cease and Desist Letter to ‘The Apprentice’ Producers to Block Release

Donald Trump’s lawyers are attempting to head off a U.S. sale of The Apprentice coming out of Cannes by slapping the filmmakers with a cease and desist letter, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

Still, the filmmakers behind the Trump movie look like they will not be swayed from seeking distribution for the movie stateside. “The film is a fair and balanced portrait of the former president. We want everyone to see it and then decide,” a representative for the film’s producers said in a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter on Friday.

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The legal move by Trump’s legal team follows director Ali Abbasi’s movie receiving a Cannes world premiere, and an eight-minute standing ovation, earlier this week.

Abbasi has already shrugged off a threat from Trump’fs presidential campaign to bring a lawsuit against the project. “Everybody talks about him suing a lot of people — they don’t talk about his success rate though, you know?” Abbasi said at the Cannes press conference for The Apprentice. 

The Apprentice explores Donald Trump’s rise to power in 1980s America under the influence of the firebrand right-wing attorney Roy Cohn. Sebastian Stan portrays a young version of the real estate mogul in his pre-MAGA days, while Succession star Jeremy Strong plays Cohn, along with Martin Donovan (Tenet) as Fred Trump Sr. and Oscar nominee Maria Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm) as Ivana Trump.

The film has been described as a surprisingly humanistic portrayal of the global icon and former U.S. president now known simply as “The Donald,” but it also contains several disturbing and profoundly unflattering scenes, including a sequence where he rapes his first wife Ivana, gets liposuction and surgery for his bald spot, becomes addicted to diet pills and betrays the trust of many of those closest to him.

One of the investors in The Apprentice, Dan Snyder, a former owner of the Washington Commanders, is reportedly angry over the film’s portrayal of Trump and has threatened his own cease-and-desist letter to block a U.S. distribution deal.

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