Bill Maher Stumps For Release Of ‘The Apprentice’ Movie In U.S.

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Bill Maher stumped tonight on Real Time for the U.S. release of The Apprentice, the Cannes Competition title starring Sebastian Stan as Donald Trump and Emmy-winner Jeremy Strong as Trump’s onetime firebrand lawyer, Roy Cohn.

“It looks great,” said Maher before observing, “This is Trump’s origin story under the tutelage of Roy Cohn.”

The Real Time host continued, “It’s being released in Japan, Canada, the U.K., Germany, [but] no one here will touch it. It bothers me so much.”

Deadline reported earlier this month on the movie’s distribution deals: International sales firm Rocket Science has set deals for the film’s release in Italy (BIM), Spain (Vertigo Films), Scandinavia (Nordisk), Benelux (The Searchers), Greece (Odeon), Portugal (Lusomundo), Eastern Europe (M2), Japan (Kino), Latin America (Sun), Israel (Lev Cinema), Airlines (Skeye) and Australia & New Zealand (Madman). Deals were also made for the UK (Studio Canal), France (Metropolitan) and Germany, Austria & Switzerland (DCM). Mongrel is releasing in Canada.

Industry watchers were expectant the film would get a U.S. deal soon after its Cannes launch. Some assumed a streamer would be the most logical fit. However, in an election year, threats of legal action from Trump’s team (the film includes a controversial scene in which the Trump character rapes his former wife Ivana) and a report of one disgruntled financier, didn’t help progress towards a swift domestic pact.

The state of play earlier this month was that multiple parties remained interested in the film domestically, and there was confidence a deal will get done, probably this month.

Maher didn’t sound so sure, and he was not happy.

“This is MY industry, you f*cking p*ssies,” he said, before commanding, “Find a way to release this movie.”

Maher then went on to explain how he says Trump works to get his way across the board.

“First he intimidates the congresspeople…then he intimidates juries, and now he’s intimidating THIS town? Oy.”

Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a guest on the show, replied, “He is very good at manipulation, at leverage, at the use of power.”

Cuomo continued: “Look at what happened with Fox and the Dominion lawsuit. Fox paid $800 million to the Dominion Voting [machine] company because they lied about the election and they knew they were lying. Why were they lying? Because the Trump people left Fox when they [Fox] said, ‘You lost the election.’ That’s his power: He’s got the dog whistle to his cult.”

The night’s other panel guest, former Congressman Adam Kinzinger, then weighed in.

“They have weaponized Cancel Culture. Remember back we’d have these corporations that were like overly woke and people would boycott it and it would have an impact? They had a concern there. What they have done is realize the effectiveness of that and now they’ve weaponized it and gone on offense. Not defense like, ‘We’re going to boycott this corporation because we don’t like whatever gender thing they’re doing.’ Now it’s, ‘We don’t like this movie that makes our guy look bad.’ And that’s a dangerous precedent.”

Maher then summarized by waxing patriotic: “I’m an American and I want to see the movies that I want!”

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