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

Sebastian Stan’s Trump Biopic Eyes Hilariously Apropos Release Date

We're all going to be totally normal about this, right? Right??

Of all the upcoming releases bound to ruffle feathers this year, perhaps none could go as wrong—or right—as filmmaker Ali Abbasi’s Donald Trump biopic, The Apprentice. Now that it’s made its official debut at the 77th Cannes Film Festival, here’s when we can expect to see it land in theaters. Cue eagle screeches.

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Sick of seeing the name Donald J. Trump in the headlines? Well, try to stick it out a little longer because the life of the real estate mogul-turned-U.S. President-turned convicted criminal is the unfortunate subject of Iranian-Danish director Ali Abbasi’s latest endeavor, The Apprentice—a nod to the NBC reality show of the same name. And yep, believe it or not, buried underneath all those prosthetics is, in fact, Sebastian Stan, who leads the film as the man himself through the epic highs and lows of Trump’s early career, set against the glitzy backdrop of ’70s and ’80s New York City. Maria Bakalova, Jeremy Strong, and Martin Donovan also star. And based on behind-the-scenes pics alone, this thing looks wild.

It’s no secret that the majority of Hollywood isn’t exactly pro-Trump, making it somewhat unsurprising that The Apprentice isn’t holding back with its scathing critique of the former commander-in-chief. The movie held its worldwide premiere at the latest Cannes Film Festival, where it was generally well-received by critics, despite not taking home any awards. (The prestigious Palme d’Or went to Sean Baker’s Anora.)

Time Magazine’s Stephanie Zacharek praised Stong’s depiction of “duplicitous manipulator and big-time hypocrite” Roy Cohn in her review, while The Daily Beast‘s Esther Zuckerman went as far as to say that the movie has “true Oscar potential.” High praise for something that involves Trump! At the time of writing, the film sits at a 78% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

In typical Trump crybaby fashion, the disgraced politician’s team has already threatened legal action against the film (which he predictably called “garbage” sight unseen), with his pack of conservative fanboys threatening to boycott over the negative portrayal of their No. 1 fave felon. To make things even more hilarious, billionaire Dan Snyder, a longtime pal of Trump’s, unknowingly donated money to the movie’s production, not knowing it bashed on Trump. Still, it seems like Trump’s cease and desist letter to block the sale of The Apprentice isn’t exactly getting anywhere (freedom of speech has entered the chat), as Abbasi might’ve inadvertently confirmed its theatrical release date.

Ali Abbasi teases The Apprentice release window

During a press conference held at Cannes, Abbasi was asked about the release date for The Apprentice. Although the filmmaker didn’t give specifics, he did tell reporters (via Collider), “We have a promotional event coming up called [the] U.S. election that’s going to help us with the movie. So we’re hoping very much that it can come out—if I’m remembering right—the second debate’s going to be on September 15, something like that. So that’s a good release date for us I would say.”

Without outright confirming it, it seems like Abbasi is looking to have his latest biographical drama roll out around the same time as the second general election debate (currently scheduled for September 10, to be precise), which could absolutely end in disaster given the current political discourse. Still, with Biden and Trump going toe-to-toe, it might be perfect timing to wash down what’s sure to be a brutal debate with something a little more funny and lighthearted, meaning The Apprentice could be a surprise box office hit … if executed well.

With 2024 being an important election year, tensions are bound to be high when polls open this fall. So it might come as an iota of comfort to know that—at the very least—we can see Sebastian Stan hamming it up in all his blond-haired, fake tan glory when The Apprentice hopefully hits theaters in September.


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Amanda Landwehr
Amanda is a Los Angeles-based entertainment writer who lives and breathes Star Wars, Marvel, and all things pop culture. She has worked in digital media since 2021, covering the latest movie/TV releases, casting updates, fan theories, and so, so much more. When she's not rotting away behind her laptop screen, you can typically catch Amanda maxing out her AMC Stubs membership.