Trump-Themed Film 'The Apprentice' Fails to Gain Traction at Cannes

 May 27, 2024

The film "The Apprentice," depicting controversial incidents involving former President Donald Trump, ended its run at the Cannes Film Festival without securing a U.S. distribution deal or winning any accolades, Breitbart reported.

Despite high expectations and significant media buzz, "The Apprentice" left the Cannes Film Festival without any awards or a distribution deal in the United States.

The film, which faced legal threats from Donald Trump, was one of the most controversial entries at Cannes this year. It portrays unverified events from Trump's life, including accusations of serious misconduct.

Legal Threats Overshadow Film's Premiere

Before the festival, Trump's legal team issued a cease-and-desist letter to the filmmakers. The letter, directed at director Ali Abassi and screenwriter Gabriel Sherman, demanded an immediate halt to distribution efforts, branding the film as a series of falsehoods.

Trump's chief spokesperson, Steven Cheung, vehemently criticized the film. He stated, “We will be filing a lawsuit to address the blatantly false assertions from these pretend filmmakers. This garbage is pure fiction which sensationalizes lies that have been long debunked.”

According to the cease-and-desist letter, the film is described as "a concoction of lies that repeatedly defames President Trump and constitutes direct foreign interference in America’s elections."

Cannes Festival Reacts to 'The Apprentice'

The film's portrayal of sensitive content, including a disputed rape allegation and scenes of cosmetic surgery, has ignited fierce debate. Ivana Trump, the former president's first wife, has publicly denied the rape allegations depicted in the film.

Despite the controversy, the film did not receive any awards at the Cannes closing ceremony, defying some earlier predictions that Sebastian Stan, who portrayed Trump, might be recognized for his performance.

Media attention at the festival was intense, with many reporters covering the unfolding drama between the Trump camp and the filmmakers.

Future Uncertain for Controversial Biopic

The lack of a U.S. distribution deal highlights the film's uncertain future, particularly in a climate where political films face disinterest. The potential legal repercussions further complicate any plans for a wider release.

The film's independent financing, primarily from overseas companies and some domestic investors, suggests there was anticipation of controversy and challenges in mainstream acceptance.

As it stands, the legal threats from Trump’s campaign, which plans to file a defamation lawsuit, cast a long shadow over any future for "The Apprentice" in American cinemas.


In conclusion, "The Apprentice," a film fraught with controversy and legal challenges, failed to secure a U.S. distribution deal or win awards at the Cannes Film Festival.

Despite significant attention and a polarizing portrayal of former President Donald Trump, the film's future remains highly uncertain, influenced by political sensitivities and legal threats. The unfolding legal drama continues to affect its potential release and reception in the U.S. market.

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