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Before He Became Our President, Trump Was Going to Play One in 'Sharknado'

"The Donald said yes," the film's producer said. "He was thrilled to be asked."
Drew Schwartz
Brooklyn, US
Lia Kantrowitz
illustrated by Lia Kantrowitz
Illustration by Lia Kantrowitz; photo of Trump by Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Somewhere out there in the great wide multiverse, a world exists in which Lincoln Chaffee is our president, Bernie Sanders has left politics to head operations at Ben & Jerry's, and Donald Trump is starring in the best worst movie franchise of all time: Sharknado.

OK, so maybe Lincoln Chafee could never run the country, no matter how many alternate realities dwell just beyond our grasp—but according to the Hollywood Reporter, Trump was seriously close to taking a role in SyFy's infamous film series about sharks raining down from the heavens. His role? The president of the United States.


In January 2015—just five months before he declared his candidacy—Trump had reportedly agreed to play the leader of the free world in Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! David Latt, who co-founded a film company behind the franchise, told the Reporter Trump jumped at the chance to feature in the movie when he was offered the role.

"The Donald said yes," Latt told the Reporter. "He was thrilled to be asked."

Then, in a surprising move that no one at the time took too seriously, Trump actually decided to run for president, telling the Sharknado team that it wasn't really "the best time" to star in a C-list movie sequel. Scrambling to fill the role at the last minute, Latt tapped a different billionaire to play the president—Mark Cuban—to the apparent chagrin of Trump's lawyer, Michael Cohen.

"We immediately heard from Trump's lawyer," Latt told the Reporter. "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!'" Cohen apparently never followed through on the threat and denied making that angry call.

In the end, the Sharknado squad had to settle for Mark Cuban, and the president had to settle for—well, the actual presidency. Given that Cuban flirted with a White House run and Trump seems to hate his job, you have to wonder: Who's jealous of whom?

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