It’s a TV film about Donald Trump and entirely made by Donald Trump (but actually stars an unrecognisable Johnny Depp). The 50-minute Funny or Die film “The Art of the Deal: The Movie” has emerged online, and it’s like the US republican presidential candidate himself was there.
The parody film, released by the website co-founded by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, sees Depp as a very convincing Trump in the late ‘80s when he was still married to Ivana Trump and he still didn’t own the Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City.
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“Thought to be lost in the Cybill Shepherd blouse fire of ‘89, ‘The Art of the Deal’ was a TV movie based on the best-selling Donald Trump autobiography of the same name,” Ron Howard said at the beginning, claiming the VHS tape was almost completely hidden to the public because it was pre-empted by Monday Night Football. “In fact, it was written, directed and stars Donald Trump himself.”
With Trump furious that his masterpiece wouldn’t be able to air, he vowed never to show the film to anyone. Hence, the VHS tape disappeared for decades until it was found at a yard sale in another state.
In reality, though, it only took four days for Depp to shoot the project. The idea for the film started with Owen Burke, Funny or Die’s editor-in-chief. He pitched the concept to McKay, who then offered the role to Depp. The “Pirates of the Caribbean” star spent less than a week in December to complete the film.
Trump’s popularity is steadily soaring in the US presidential ratings, but the team didn’t know it back then and hence had to move fast in case the real estate mogul’s star faded abruptly.
“We had a few people sign nondisclosures, but mostly we just begged people not to say anything,” Burke told the New York Times how they were able to keep the project a secret. He added Depp bought his own hair and makeup team to get him into character.
Joining Depp and Howard in the cast are Andy Richter, Henry Winkler, Paul Scheer, Patton Oswalt, Jack McBrayer, Rob Huebel, Michael Watkins, Jeremy Konner, Stephen Merchant, Alfred Molina and Alf, the alien/puppet star of the eponymous ‘80s sitcom. Kenny Loggins wrote the theme song to keep with the ‘80s feel of the film.
Watch the hilarious parody TV movie: