Director of new unflattering Trump biopic balks at campaign’s vow to sue

The director of a film about Donald Trump is offering to screen the movie for the former president amid a vow to sue by the Trump campaign.

Director Ali Abbasi responded to the threatened lawsuit over “The Apprentice” film which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival on Monday night. The Iranian filmmaker wasn’t sure Trump would actually like the film but offered to give him a private screening.

“Everybody talks about him suing a lot of people — they don’t talk about his success rate though, you know?” Abbasi said at a Variety presser.

“I don’t necessarily think that this is a movie he would dislike,” he added. “I don’t necessarily think he would like it. I think he would be surprised, you know? And like I’ve said before, I would offer to go and meet him wherever he wants and talk about the context of the movie, have a screening and have a chat afterwards, if that’s interesting to anyone at the Trump campaign.”

The “pretend filmmakers” of the controversial new biopic were put on notice by his campaign that they would be sued over a scene in the film starring Sebastian Stan as then-real-estate mogul Trump.

“The Apprentice” received an extended standing ovation at the film festival. But one controversial scene of Trump raping his then-wife Ivana, played by Maria Bakalova, sparked a response from the Trump campaign calling the film “garbage” and “pure fiction.”

Ivana Trump, who died in 2022, had spoken of the alleged rape in a divorce deposition in 1989 and the years following the couple’s split. She later rescinded the claims in 2015.

“We will be filing a lawsuit to address the blatantly false assertions from these pretend filmmakers,” Trump campaign chief spokesperson Steven Cheung said in a statement, according to Variety.

“This garbage is pure fiction which sensationalizes lies that have been long debunked. As with the illegal Biden Trials, 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,” he added.

“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,” Cheung said. “It belongs in a dumpster fire.”

Reporting on the controversial scene of Donald and Ivana Trump, Variety noted: “It proved to be the most disturbing scene in a movie chock full of unflattering sequences about Donald Trump.”

“The rape scene isn’t the only one that Trump may find objectionable. The 2024 presidential candidate also is depicted popping amphetamine pills, getting liposuction and having surgery to remove his bald spot,” the outlet added.

There is currently no U.S. release date for the film, but Abbasi had some thoughts on the matter.

“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,” he remarked.

Frieda Powers

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