Movie Reviews

The Apprentice's Release Problems Only Make Sebastian Stan's Trump Movie More Intriguing


  • U.S. distributors hesitant to release The Apprentice, but viewers likely to find a way to watch it.
  • The Apprentice’s international release ensures American audiences will see the Trump biopic.
  • Attempts to quash distribution may make The Apprentice even more popular as viewers seek it out.

While director Ali Abbasi’s Donald Trump biopic The Apprentice still hasn’t secured a US distributor, the controversy surrounding the movie only makes it more likely that it will end up being viewed by millions of Americans. Since the beginning of cinema censorship, banning movies has been a great way of making them famous. This could soon be the case with Sebastian Stan’s upcoming Donald Trump biopic The Apprentice, which debuted to critical acclaim at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2024. The Apprentice stars Stan as a young Trump, an inexperienced real estate magnate in 1980s New York.

The Apprentice, ironically titled after Trump’s own reality TV show, follows the mentor/ protégé relationship between Jeremy Strong’s Roy Cohn and Stan’s Trump. According to reviewers, The Apprentice’s Donald Trump biography is enthralling, a fascinating portrait of the divisive figure that features a commanding central performance from Stan. Strong’s turn as Cohn is one of his most notable roles since his acclaimed run in Succession ended, and Borat 2’s breakout star Maria Bakalova puts in a superb supporting performance as Ivana Trump. Despite this, U.S. viewers may never get to see the movie, at least not legally.


“People In Your Country Don’t Want You To See It!!!”: Trump Movie’s U.S. Release Problems Called Out By The Apprentice Director

The Apprentice director Ali Abbasi launches a scathing attack on the “power people” who are looking to prevent his Donald Trump biopic’s US release.

The Apprentice’s U.S. Release Problem Will Only Make Audiences More Intrigued About It

Refusing To Release Stan’s Trump Movie Just Makes It More Interesting

StudioCanal acquired The Apprentice’s international distribution rights, but only for the United Kingdom and Ireland. Deadline reported that The Apprentice will also be released in numerous European countries as well as Australia and Japan, but the biopic still hasn’t secured a US distributor. This is extremely rare for an accessible, critically acclaimed mainstream movie about a famous figure with a starry, buzzy cast. However, according to Variety, the movie’s creators feel that uncertainty around Trump’s political prospects is driving studio hesitancy. Studios don’t want to upset Trump lest he win another term.

Of course, The Apprentice failing to find a U.S. distributor doesn’t mean the movie won’t be viewed by plenty of curious Americans. Between VPNs and pirate sites, it is increasingly difficult for even small studios to avoid their movies ending up online. A major movie like The Apprentice is almost certain to be easily viewable in America once the movie can be streamed in Europe and elsewhere around the globe. Ironically, attempts to quash its distribution may only end up making The Apprentice more popular as viewers clamor to see what all the fuss is about after its release.

U.S. Audiences Will Watch The Apprentice One Way Or Another

The Apprentice’s International Release Makes U.S. Viewing Inevitable

Why Sebastian Stans Trump Movie Is Struggling To Get A US Release
Custom Image by Simone Ashmoore

While some movies are truly difficult to track down since they never received distribution deals and were only viewed at film festivals, it is too late for this fate to befall The Apprentice. The Apprentice is guaranteed to find its way to U.S. viewers thanks to its international distribution deals, meaning Americans will see Abbasi’s biopic legally or otherwise. While a biopic of Trump starring an actor as high-profile as Stan was always likely to prove controversial, the difficulty that The Apprentice faced finding a distributor might make the biopic more enticing than a politician’s biopic would otherwise have seemed.

The Apprentice (2024)

The Apprentice (2024)

Ali Abbasi

Fabula Pictures

Gabriel Sherman

120 Minutes

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