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Donald Trump Was Nearly President of ‘Sharknado’

Sharknado was kind of a crazy movie. The 2013 Syfy made for TV movie made a huge splash on social media with its ridiculous premise of a tornado full of angry sharks making landfall in Los Angeles. But something even more improbable than a storm throwing sharks at Los Angelenos almost happened in a sequel to that film: Donald Trump was nearly cast to play the President of the United States.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the first choice for president in Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! (yes, that’s the real title) was Sarah Palin. As if a world in which tornados are running around flinging sharks at people isn’t scary enough. Palin eventually turned down the role, presumably because she was afraid it would make her look dumb, a thing she really doesn’t need any help doing.

When Palin fell through, star Ian Ziering suggested Donald Trump, whom Ziering knew from his time as a contestant on The Celebrity Apprentice. Clearly, like all reality shows with “celebrity” in the title, The Celebrity Apprentice uses the word “celebrity” very loosely. But here’s where things get interesting because Donald Trump said yes. Contracts were drawn up and very nearly signed before Trump decided he might be making a serious run for actual president. Per THR:

But enthusiasm turned into weeks of silence from the Trump camp. Eventually, a reason for the stalling emerged. “Donald’s thinking about making a legitimate run for the presidency, so we’ll get back to you,” Latt recalls Cohen saying. “This might not be the best time.” With the production clock ticking, Asylum pulled the trigger on a backup plan, offering the role to Mark Cuban — a modest casting coup that Syfy trumpeted with a press release.

“Then we immediately heard from Trump’s lawyer,” recalls Latt. “He basically said, ‘How dare you? Donald wanted to do this. We’re going to sue you! We’re going to shut the entire show down!’ ” Contacted by THR, Cohen acknowledges a dinner with Ziering to discuss casting Trump but says he has no recollection of the angry correspondence.

Oh, what a world we could be living in where Donald Trump was only the fictional president. Hillary Clinton’s terrible campaign strategy would have lost to a slightly more competent Republican candidate, probably Ben Carson or Ted Cruz. And then… yeah, nothing else would be different. At all.

But what a film Sharknado 3 would have been. Donald Trump could have stopped the Sharknado with a weird, overaggressive handshake and then grabbed the sharks by the pussy and thrown them back into the ocean. Triumphant, he’d shake the water out of his totally real hair and then get an erection without the use of pharmaceuticals and make love to his supermodel wife Melania who can stand him and absolutely does want to be with him. Isn’t fiction grand?

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