Before he won the 2016 presidential election, some people thought Donald Trump was one of the unlikeliest people to become the president of the United States. After all, the man came from a business background and had never worked in national politics prior to running his successful 2016 presidential campaign. But if you've ever wondered just how the president rose to power, you can find out in the upcoming movie all about Trump, The Apprentice.
Vanity Fair correspondent and writer Gabriel Sherman has been selected to work on the film as its writer as well as executive producer. Sherman, who also wrote the New York Times best-selling book about former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes called The Loudest Voice in the Room, is set to write The Apprentice for Amy Baer's media company, Gidden Media. Some may see Sherman as the perfect person to narrate Trump's ascension to victory; the journalist has been writing about the president for over a decade now.
According to The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday, Sherman said, "As a journalist, I've reported on Donald Trump for more than 15 years" and added, "I have long been fascinated by his origin story as a young builder coming up in the gritty world of 1970s and 1980s New York. This formative period tells us so much about the man who today occupies the Oval Office."
Although it is not clear who will play Trump in The Apprentice, the movie will depict his journey from the vantage of those around him, including the late attorney Roy Cohn — a tough and controversial legal figure whom Trump viewed as his mentor.
Baer supported the decision to tap Sherman as the person to write and produce The Apprentice movie. "Gabe is an extraordinary storyteller as well as an impeccable journalist," Baer said. "The timeliness of this subject, combined with Gabe’s professional pedigree and integrity, makes this a rare alignment of talent and subject."
But while Baer was excited for Sherman to write the film, some observers on social media, including Twitter, chimed in to say that the idea was less than great. Soon after The Hollywood Reporter tweeted its report on Sherman writing and producing The Apprentice, some people tweeted, "No thank you." Another person kept it short and wrote, "Please don't." Several observers questioned the purpose of the film as one Twitter user simply asked, "Why? We live through it daily."
In case you are curious to see the film and perhaps want to understand Trump's ultimate triumph from the perspective of Cohn (among other possible prominent figures), it might help to understand who Cohn was himself. Cohn, a once-powerful lawyer, was described as "ruthless" by Vanity Fair's Marie Brenner in 2017.
Brenner wrote that Cohn told her, "Donald calls me 15 to 20 times a day. He is always asking, 'What is the status of this ... and that?'" The reporter wrote that attorney Victor Kovner, who knew Cohn, said, "You knew when you were in Cohn’s presence you were in the presence of pure evil." The reporter also wrote that the lawyer was skilled at "legal pyrotechnics" and was revered by young Trump who praised Cohn's loyalty and legal tactics.
If Sherman's The Apprentice fully delves into Cohn's influence on Trump, viewers might learn a good deal about the president's personal behavior and official approach to domestic and foreign policy issues. Time and again, observers have written about Cohn's sway on the president and noted that the late lawyer may have been pivotal in teaching Trump how to deal with opponents with frequently controversial and aggressive strategies — which many point out are an integral part of the way he operates today.