Sebastian Stan sitting in a car with Jeremy Strong in the Apprentice
(Tailored Films)

Pro-Trump Businessman Tries To Block ‘The Apprentice’ Release

The longtime Trump supporter is trying to block the release of the new film, which stars Sebastian Stan as an ’80s-era Trump.

The Apprentice, arguably one of the most mysterious and controversial movies in the Cannes lineup, is set to enjoy its world premiere on May 20. However, its debut comes amid legal struggles as pro-Trump businessman Dan Snyder is trying to block the movie’s release.

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The Apprentice is a biographical drama that follows Donald Trump’s (Sebastian Stan) career as a businessman in the 1970s and ’80s. Although it was first announced in 2018, very few details have been released about the film’s plot. It is believed that the movie follows Trump’s mentorship under American lawyer Roy Cohn. Naturally, The Apprentice has raised some concerns about whether it might try to humanize Trump. Even if it takes a critical stance against the former president, we can’t help but wonder if it’s wise to give Trump any further attention—especially given the unhinged antics of his followers.

However, Snyder isn’t concerned about The Apprentice devoting attention to the former president. Instead, he’s concerned that the film’s depiction of Trump won’t be positive enough.

Dan Snyder sparks legal drama over The Apprentice

According to Variety, Snyder has lawyered up and sent cease-and-desist letters to the indie studio behind The Apprentice. The billionaire businessman and former owner of the NFL’s Washington Commanders invested money in the movie via production company Kinematics. When Snyder, a prominent Trump supporter who contributed $100,000 to Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign, heard that a movie about the former president was in development, he quickly invested.

Apparently, Snyder invested in the film because he believed it was a “flattering” portrayal of the former president. It’s unclear if Snyder was explicitly told this or came to the conclusion by himself. Given his countless controversies and legal issues, it’s odd to assume a Trump biopic would be a glowing depiction. Still, Snyder was under this impression when he screened the final cut of The Apprentice in February, but later became furious when he realized that the film is not what he thought it would be.

Snyder reportedly began demanding numerous changes be made to the film. While insiders are vague about what exactly Snyder took issue with, there are rumors that The Apprentice features a sexual assault scene, which could be one of the scenes Snyder demanded be changed. In addition to Snyder’s attorneys, Kinematics’ lawyers have been sending cease-and-desist letters and attempting to block the release of The Apprentice. However, Kinematics president Emmanuel Nuñez issued a statement claiming that the company’s actions and decisions weren’t influenced by Snyder, who, despite backing the studio, is considered a “third party” in the matter.

So far, neither Kinematics nor Snyder have succeeded in blocking the film’s Cannes premiere. Given that the movie still doesn’t have a theatrical release date, the fight for changes and recuts is ongoing. It remains to be seen how the issue will be resolved, but for many viewers, Snyder’s anger at the movie will only incentivize them to see it more.

In addition to being a proud supporter of Trump, Snyder has been involved in numerous controversies himself. For years, he staunchly refused to change the Washington NFL team’s racist name. He also earned the label of one of the worst NFL team owners of all time, as his career was riddled with accusations of creating a toxic workplace environment and committing financial fraud. Snyder likely sees a lot of himself in Trump, as they are both powerful billionaires with careers built on corruption and controversy. All of which is to say that it’s no surprise Snyder would take issue with the film if it’s anything other than Trump propaganda.

Snyder’s anger at the film suggests that The Apprentice may be an honest and critical look at Trump’s career. It will be interesting to see how the film actually presents the former president—you can’t really expect a devout Trump supporter to have an unbiased opinion.


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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.