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Legal Threats Trail New Trump Biopic ‘The Apprentice’ After Debut At Cannes Film Festival

Trump’s spokesman has announced that legal action will be taken against the makers of the new Trump biopic, “The Apprentice.”

A new biopic about Donald Trump, titled “The Apprentice,” had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, drawing mostly positive reviews from critics but also a legal threat from the former president.

The film, which traces Trump’s rise as a property developer in 1970s and 80s New York, begins with a disclaimer that many events are fictionalised. It features actor Sebastian Stan as Trump and Jeremy Strong as his mentor Roy Cohn. Directed by Iranian-Danish filmmaker Ali Abbasi, the movie portrays Trump’s transformation from a naive social climber to a figure corrupted by power.

Speaking to Vanity Fair before the premiere, Abbasi had said the aim was “to do a punk rock version of a historical movie… [not] get too anal about details and what’s right and what’s wrong”.

The film is said to feature “rape, erectile dysfunction, baldness and betrayal.”

Notably, the film includes a controversial scene depicting Trump raping his first wife, Ivana, an allegation she retracted during their real-life divorce proceedings. According to news agency AFP, the film “paints an unflinching but nuanced portrait of the former US president”.

Trump’s spokesman denounced the film as “garbage,” “pure fiction,” and “election interference by Hollywood elites,” and announced that legal action would be taken “to address the blatantly false assertions from these pretend filmmakers”.

In a statement, he said, “This garbage is pure fiction which sensationalises lies that have been long debunked. This is election interference by Hollywood elites, who know that President Trump will retake the White House and beat their candidate of choice because nothing they have done has worked.”

Abbasi responded to the criticism by suggesting Trump’s team should watch the film before taking legal steps, hinting that Trump might find the portrayal surprisingly nuanced.

Abbasi said, “Donald’s team should wait to watch the movie before they start suing us. I don’t necessarily think this is a movie that he would dislike… I think he would be surprised.”

Despite the backlash, “The Apprentice” received an eight-minute standing ovation at Cannes, as well as positive reviews following its premiere.

Kevin Maher of the Times said, “This is the Donald Trump movie that you never knew you needed, full of compassionate feeling yet ruthless in analysis.”

The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw was however, less impressed. He said, “The Apprentice worryingly moves us back to the old Donald, the joke Donald… the joke that is now beyond unfunny. It feels obtuse and irrelevant.”

The premiere coincides with Trump’s ongoing hush-money trial in New York and his preparation for another presidential run.

Melissa Enoch

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