Category: The Apprentice


News: ‘The Apprentice’ Producer James Shani to Lead Group That Buys Out Pro-Trump Investor’s Stake | Exclusive

The Wrap – ‘The Apprentice’ Producer James Shani to Lead Group That Buys Out Pro-Trump Investor’s Stake | Exclusive

James Shani, who is an executive producer on the Donald Trump biopic “The Apprentice” that debuted at Cannes earlier this year, is leading the group that will buy out Dan Snyder’s stake in the controversial film directed by Ali Abbasi, TheWrap has exclusively learned. The move will pave the way for the film to secure U.S. distribution after Snyder, a staunch conservative, wanted out of the movie.

According to insiders, the producers and Snyder are working to settle in the $6 million-$7 million range, and if there is no agreement this week, the film’s producers are confident in their own legal recourse to give the film a path towards release.

The $7 million is coming from existing individual investors including Shani and Scythia Productions. Upon settlement, the producers will enter into a distribution agreement with Tom Ortenberg’s Briarcliff Entertainment targeting a wide release before the election.

Negotiations to buy out Snyder’s stake have been ongoing since Cannes. The buyout gives Ali Abbasi creative control of the film.

The film, starring Sebastian Stan and Jeremy Strong, had languished without a U.S. distribution deal since debuting in May at the Cannes Film Festival to strong reviews. Snyder wanted out of the film — he was not among those who read the script and did not know how the project would portray Trump. The film features a much-discussed recreation sequence where Trump rapes his former wife Ivana (she later recanted the allegation). Snyder donated more than $1 million to Trump and his inaugural committee in 2016 and $100,000 to his 2020 reelection campaign.

CAA and WME jointly represent US sales and are in a rare moment of collaboration brokering the settlement.

Reps for the filmmakers did not immediately respond to The Wrap’s request for comment.

Shani previously came on board to produce the project which needed additional financing to finish principal photography.

“The Apprentice” was written by Gabriel Sherman and directed by Ali Abbasi. It takes a look into the the life and career of Trump (Stan) while working as a New York real estate during the 1970s and the ’80s. He was supported at the time by lawyer Roy Cohn (Strong). The cast also includes Maria Bakalova as Ivana and Martin Donovan as Trump’s father, Fred Trump.

Briarcliff Entertainment is run by Tom Ortenberg, who oversaw “The Dissident,” about the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, another film that Hollywood was afraid to distribute. Ortenberg also distributed “Fahrenheit 9/11,” “Spotlight,” which won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and “Nightcrawler.” The company is eyeing a wide theatrical release in the fall before the presidential election in November and is currently discussing dates.


Photos: More New Cannes Photos (includes Cannes Roundup Posts / Last Batch) – Post VI

Last Cannes update! I’ve added 200+ new photos from Sebastian attending the Cannes Film Festival photocall and red carpet to the gallery. For the other Cannes round up posts (including video of all of the events) check Cannes Post I Cannes Post II, Cannes Post III , Cannes Post VI, and the previous post Cannes Post V.


Photos: More New Cannes Photos (includes Cannes Roundup Posts) + New ‘Pam & Tommy’ Stills – Post V

Tiny update! I’ve added 30+ new photos from Sebastian attending Cannes photocall as well as 3 brand new stills from ‘Pam & Tommy’ to the gallery. For the other Cannes round up posts (including video of all of the events) check Cannes Post I Cannes Post II, Cannes Post III ,and Cannes Post VI.


Photos: More New Cannes Photos (includes Cannes Roundup Posts) – Post IV

I’ve added 40+ new photos from Sebastian attending various Cannes events to the gallery. For the other Cannes round up posts (including video of all of the events) check Cannes Post I and Cannes Post II, and Cannes Post III. Thank you to Thank you to for assistance earlier this week (during round up post II for some of the photos). Check the following albums below for what was added today.


News/Photos: Hollywood Authentic – Cannes Dispatch (w/ Photos)

Hollywood Authentic

Sebastian Stan has played real life protagonists on film before – most notably Jeff Gillooly, in the critically acclaimed, I, Tonya and Tommy Lee in awards-winning Pam and Tommy. But his turn as former president, Donald Trump, in Ali Abbasi’s The Apprentice, is attracting heat – not least from the 45th POTUS himself. ‘As always it’s about understanding,’ Stan told Hollywood Authentic when we shot him before the premiere at the Palais. ‘The challenge was perhaps working against preconceived ideas or what’s currently out there. Had to go back in time. To the beginning. And go step by step without judgment.’

Premiering in Cannes this week, The Apprentice charts the rise of Trump in 70s and 80s New York as he evolves from a debt collector with real estate ambitions to a Manhattan baller who learns how to ‘win’ from unscrupulous lawyer Roy Cohn (Jeremy Strong). An origin story, if you will.

Stan, with his sandy wig and pursed lips, portrays Trump as a nuanced sponge to Cohen’s shady mentorship, a kid trying to get out from under the shadow of his father who takes advice we now recognise as his MO, and runs with it. As he grows in capital and stature, the boy becomes a man, the persona fixed.

It’s certainly a big swing for Stan, taking on the depiction of such a divisive, current figure. But the gamble paid off in Cannes – the film received an 8 minute standing ovation at its premiere and prompted discussion on the Croisette. Though Trump himself is threatening to sue to production and disputing the depiction of events.

‘The hope we have is that people watch the film cos I always feel that there is always something to learn,’ Stan says of the movie that sees Trump betray family and friends, get liposuction and BJs, and bend the truth to his needs. ‘For me as an actor standing next to this brave artist [Abbasi] that I respect and will follow wherever he goes – and all these people that had enough balls to do this project – we have to take on things that are risky and perhaps uncomfortable to talk about. I think it’s important that we do, because it’s in our face every day and we need to have a perspective. And I think there’s a lot to learn from the film.’

Sebastian Stan wears Balenciago. Watch by Cartier.


Photos/Video: “The Apprentice” Red Carpet + After Party – The 77th Annual Cannes Film Festival

I’ve added over 200+ UHQ photos of Sebastian at ‘The Apprentice’ Red Carpet + After Party – The 77th Annual Cannes Film Festival to the gallery. In addition I’ve also added screen captures of the red carpet and the cast at the end of the film’s showing as well as 3 production stills from ‘The Apprentice’ to the gallery.

If you missed either of the events check out the videos below to watch. The press confrence and photocall will happen tomorrow morning.


Photos: ‘The Apprentice’ Filming in Dec 2023 / Jan 2024

I’ve added 200+ photos of Sebastian filming ‘The Apprentice’ to the gallery. Thank you to