The Apprentice


‘The Apprentice’

Producers of Cannes competition entry The Apprentice have said the film is “a fair and balanced portrait” of Donald Trump after after getting a cease and desist letter from lawyers for the former US president. 

The letter, first reported by Variety and apparently geared towards blocking a US release of the biographical drama, comes a few days after Trump’s presidential election campaign threatened legal action against the filmmakers

Producers of the film, directed by Ali Abbasi, responded to the cease and desist letter on Friday (May 24) with a statement that said: “The film is a fair and balanced portrait of the former president. We want everyone to see it and then decide.” 

The Apprentice stars Sebastian Stan as Trump and Jeremy Strong as his fixer Roy Cohn and follows the rise of Trump as a real estate mogul in the 1970s and 1980s. 

In a press conference after the Cannes screening of the film on Sunday (May 19) Abbasi said: “Everybody talks about [Trump] suing a lot of people. They don’t talk about the success rate.” 

Asked about a release date for the film, the filmmaker joked that “We have a promotional event coming up called the US election. We hope very much it can come out.” 

Rocket Science has been selling international territories on the film, but US representatives CAA Media Finance and WME Independent have not yet announced a US deal and there has been speculation that interest from US buyers may be affected by audience fatigue over political coverage and potential concerns about threats of legal action.