Sebastian Stan Is a Young Donald Trump in First Image From Biopic ‘The Apprentice’

Jeremy Strong plays Roy Cohn in the drama, which will premiere at Cannes

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"The Apprentice" (Credit: Festival de Cannes)

Sebastian Stan looks ready to make a deal in a first look at the upcoming Donald Trump biopic “The Apprentice,” which was unveiled early Thursday with the news that the film will be playing in competition at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival.

Per the official synopsis, the film is “a dive into the underbelly of the American empire” as 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.”

Emmy-winning “Succession” star Jeremy Strong fills the role of Cohn, who many considered to be a significant mentor to Trump.

Iranian-Danish filmmaker Ali Abbasi, who directed 2022’s Oscar-nominated “Holy Spider,” directed “The Apprentice” from a screenplay by Gabriel Sherman, the author of the Roger Ailes biography “The Loudest Voice in the Room.”

Maria Bakalova, the Bulgarian actress who broke out in “Borat 2,” plays Ivana Trump in the film while Martin Donovan plays Donald’s father Fred Trump.

While Stan is most known for his role as Bucky Barnes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, namely the “Captain America” films, he’s recently been breaking out into more complex roles with films like 2022’s cannibal drama “Fresh” and 2018’s cop drama “Destroyer.” This year he also stars in the A24 film “A Different Man,” which premiered to rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival in January.

Stan is far from the first actor to play Trump onscreen – he’s been parodied on “Saturday Night Live” since the Phil Hartman era and is currently played by James Austin Johnson on the comedy show – but “The Apprentice” is one of the few fictionalized portrayals to not fall into the absurd.

Brendan Gleeson played the former president in 2020’s Showtime miniseries “The Comey Rule,” about the standoff between Trump and former FBI director James Comey.

“The Apprentice” does not currently have distribution, but will likely be picked up before or at Cannes in May.

The feature is produced by Daniel Bekerman for Scythia Films (Canada), Jacob Jarek for Profile Pictures (Denmark), Ruth Treacy and Julianne Forde for Tailored Films (Ireland), and director Abbasi and Louis Tisne for Film Institute (Denmark). Executive producers are Amy Baer, Mark H. Rapaport, Emanuel Nunez, Josh Marks, Grant S. Johnson, Phil Hunt, Compton Ross, Thorsten Schumacher, Niamh Fagan, Gabe Sherman, Lee Broda, and James Shani.

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