“The Apprentice” director says 2024 election is huge 'promotional event' for his Donald Trump movie

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Ali Abbasi also responded to legal threats at Cannes, and said Trump probably thinks 'liberal c--ts' made 'f---ed up' movie about his early career.

Iranian filmmaker Ali Abbasi's new movie The Apprentice — about Donald Trump's early business career — has been elected to prestige status at the Cannes Film Festival, but the director feels that the actual presidential election in the United States serves to vault the film even higher into the pop culture stratosphere.

Abbasi and his cast, including Sebastian Stan as a young Trump, Jeremy Strong as lawyer Roy Cohn, and Maria Bakalova as Ivana Trump, spoke about the film Monday at a Cannes press conference, where they fielded questions about the impact of the film once it finally hits theaters later this year.

<p>Profile Pictures; James Devaney/GC Images</p> Sebastian Stan as Donald Trump in 'The Apprentice' ; Trump

Profile Pictures; James Devaney/GC Images

Sebastian Stan as Donald Trump in 'The Apprentice' ; Trump

"I think there's a lot to learn from the film," Stan said, after Abbasi shrugged off the threat of potential legal action from Trump's campaign by telling reporters that "everybody talks about him suing a lot of people, they don't talk about his success rate, though."

When Stan finished speaking, the director added: "Yeah, and we have a promotional event coming up called U.S. election, it's going to help us with the movie," he said, as the room filled with journalists chuckled at the jab. "So, we're hoping very much that it can come out. If I'm remembering right, the second debate is going to be [Sept. 10]. so that's a good release date for us, I'd say."

Abbasi also speculated that Trump is unhappy with the project, though he urged the former president and host of The Apprentice, the NBC reality competition series that served as titular inspiration for the new film, to watch the movie before speaking out against it.

"If I was him, I'd be sitting in New Jersey, Florida, or wherever he is now, or New York, and I'd be thinking, oh, this crazy Iranian guy and some liberal c---ts in Cannes, they gathered and they did this movie, and it's f---ed up and demeaning and it's a conspiracy," the Holy Spider helmer said. "I don't necessarily think this is a movie he would dislike. I think he would be surprised, and like I said before, I would be happy. I'd offer him 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 for anyone, Trump campaign people here."

Related: Demi Moore's 'gory as hell,' 'f---ing insane' body horror movie gets huge standing ovation at Cannes

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Earlier, Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung provided a statement to Rolling Stone, in which he heavily criticized the production.

“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," the statement read. "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."

<p>Gisela Schober/Getty </p> Sebastian Stan promotes 'The Apprentice' at Cannes

Gisela Schober/Getty

Sebastian Stan promotes 'The Apprentice' at Cannes

Entertainment Weekly reached out to representatives for Abbasi, Stan, Strong, and screenwriter Gabriel Sherman following Cheung's statement.

The Apprentice follows Stan as Trump navigating the New York City real estate sector, as he's mentored by Cohn and becomes romantically involved with Ivana, whom he married in 1977 and divorced in 1990 before her death in 2022.

Related: Watch The View cut Robert De Niro's audio as actor says 'f---' multiple times in Donald Trump rant

Initial reviews of the project were mixed at Cannes, with some praising Stan's performance, while others, like IndieWire's David Ehrlich, calling it "every bit as banal and unnecessary" as America's potentially divided future under a second-term Trump presidency.

Watch The Apprentice — which does not yet have a distributor or a U.S. release date — press conference at Cannes above.

Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.