Lawyers for former President Donald Trump have reportedly sent a cease and desist letter to the filmmakers of The Apprentice in an effort to block the movie’s release, warning the producers not to pursue a domestic distribution deal.

The existence of the letter was first confirmed by two unnamed sources to Variety, while excerpts were obtained by Deadline.

“The Movie presents itself as a factual biography of Mr. Trump, yet nothing could be further from the truth,” the May 22 letter to director Ali Abbasi and screenwriter Gabriel Sherman reportedly states.

The letter continues:

“It is a concoction of lies that repeatedly defames President Trump and constitutes direct foreign interference in America’s elections. If you do not immediately cease and desist all distribution and marketing of this libelous farce, we will be forced to pursue all appropriate legal remedies.”

“You have until May 27, 2024, to respond with your agreement to immediately comply with this demand. President Trump reserves all rights.”

The Apprentice, which had its world premiere in competition at the Cannes Film Festival this week, was independently financed and produced outside the Hollywood studio system — mostly through overseas companies as well as some domestic investors.

Since its Cannes debut, the movie has ignited a firestorm of debate over its portrayal of a young Trump (played by actor Sebastian Stan) and his rise to power beginning in the 70s.

In one scene, Trump is seen raping his first wife, Ivana — an alleged incident that Ivana Trump herself has denied ever happening. Other scenes depict Trump undergoing plastic surgery and liposuction.

The Apprentice has yet to secure a domestic distribution deal. Any potential buyer — whether it be a major streamer or a speciality theatrical label — would have to weigh the possible costs of a protracted legal fight with Trump.

Iranian-born director Ali Abbasi has stated he hopes his movie will open in the U.S. before the November presidential election — specifically, during the upcoming presidential debates.

The movie’s producers responded to the cease and desist letter in a statement sent to Variety. “The film is a fair and balanced portrait of the former president,” they said. “We want everyone to see it and then decide.”

As Breitbart News reported, the Trump campaign threatened to sue the makers of The Apprentice following its Cannes premiere.

“We will be filing a lawsuit to address the blatantly false assertions from these pretend filmmakers,” the Trump campaign’s chief spokesperson Steven Cheung said, “This garbage is pure fiction which sensationalizes lies that have been long debunked.”

Cheung also called the movie “malicious defamation.”

The Apprentice co-stars Succession star Jeremy Strong as Roy Cohn, Borat 2 actress Maria Bakalova as Ivana Trump, and Martin Donovan as patriarch Fred Trump.

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