The Apprentice | Ali Abbasi’s Donald Trump film finds UK distribution

the apprentice
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StudioCanal has acquired the rights to Ali Abbasi’s Donald Trump film, The Apprentice. More on the film below. 

Director Ali Abbasi’s The Apprentice, which will tell the story of a young Donald Trump, has been acquired for UK and Irish distribution by StudioCanal. The film is due to premiere on 20th May at the Cannes Film Festival, where it will compete for the coveted Palme D’Or. 

The Apprentice stars Sebastian Stan as a young Donald Trump, while Succession’s Jeremy Strong plays lawyer Roy Cohn. Maria Bakalova will play Trump’s first wife Ivana Trump while Martin Donovan will appear as Trump’s father, Fred Trump Sr. The film has been described to tackle themes of power, corruption and deception

The film takes its name from the TV series of the same name, which saw Trump coach a bunch of hopeful businessmen and women and then brutally fire them when they, inevitably, failed at the ludicrous tasks set for them. We’re anxiously waiting for someone to greenlight a film about Sir Alan Sugar next.

The Iranian-Danish Abbasi is best known for his genre-bending films such as Border and Holy Spider, but The Apprentice marks his first Hollywood outing. The script was written by Gabriel Sherman. StudioCanal intends to release it UK and Irish cinemas later this year. 

We only learned of The Apprentice last November when Stan’s casting news broke. The film was shot in Canada, wrapping in January 2024. Post-production took place in Ireland and was completed in time to get it into Cannes. It’s particularly timely for 2024 given that it’s another election year in the US and Donald Trump is again running for office.

We’ll leave you with a short, official synopsis:

THE APPRENTICE is a dive into the underbelly of the American empire. It charts a young Donald Trump’s ascent to power through a Faustian deal with the influential right-wing lawyer and political fixer Roy Cohn.

More on The Apprentice as we hear it.

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