Donald Trump’s outlandish campaign claims and hair are a regular gift to late-night comedy writers. But now Hollywood is getting in on the game with a spoof biopic starring Johnny Depp unveiled after the billionaire’s triumph in the New Hampshire primary.
The satirical website Funny or Die began streaming the faux documentary the morning after Trump’s resounding victory yesterday night placed him firmly back atop the Republican field of White House contenders.
Kept secret during production, “Funny or Die Presents Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal: The Movie” is presented as a long-lost celluloid treasure written and directed decades ago by the real estate magnate himself.
The 1980s-styled parody stars an almost unrecognizable Depp in heavy makeup including trademark comb-over, set to music by the era’s soundtrack star Kenny Loggins whose credits include “Top Gun” and “Footloose.”
The tycoon-turned-politician says at the opening that at the age of 10, he saw he saw a photo that changed his life: a child standing in front of the Taj Mahal, India’s famous mausoleum.
“So I vowed that day to buy my own Taj Mahal,” he says. “Thirty years later, I got my chance. This one was even classier because it was a casino and it was in a place way more beautiful than India: New Jersey.”
At the movie’s outset, a narrator—played by director Ron Howard—presents the 50-minute film as a televised adaptation of Trump’s bestselling book “The Art of the Deal,” published in 1987.
Trump’s character at one point claims “The Art of the Deal” to be the world’s second best-selling book of all time after the Bible, “which required 12 guys write, and you know what? It’s boring!”
Originally set to air in September 1988, Howard-the-narrator says, the prime-time special was bumped after a football game went into overtime. A furious Trump pulled the program and vowed never to air it again.
Howard tells viewers he came upon a videotape copy last summer in a Phoenix, Arizona yard sale.
Funny or Die, whose co-founders include the actor Will Ferrell and actor-director Adam McKay—in the running for a best picture Oscar laster this month for his film “The Big Short”—has reeled in well-known stars to feature in its productions.
The Trump parody cast also includes Alfred Molina, Henry Winkler and Michaela Watkins—from the Fox sitcom “New Girl” -- as Ivana Trump.