- Axel Schmidt/Reuters; Syfy
Before Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the highest office in the land, he was very nearly cast as a fictional POTUS in the Syfy made-for-TV movie “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!,” according to a profile on the series by The Hollywood Reporter.
In January 2015, Trump agreed to appear in the film after Ian Ziering, the star of the franchise and a former contestant on “Celebrity Apprentice,” contacted his former reality TV boss about the role. A contract was soon sent to Trump’s lawyer, Michael D. Cohen.
Eventually, the once “serious talks” devolved into silence from Trump’s camp as he prepared to launch a real presidential bid, according to David Latt, the founder of The Asylum, the studio behind the “Sharknado” series.
“Donald’s thinking about making a legitimate run for the presidency, so we’ll get back to you,” Latt recalled to THR how Cohen explained Trump’s indecision about the role. “This might not be the best time.”
Nevertheless, when the role of POTUS went to Mark Cuban at the last minute, Trump took offense.
“We immediately heard from Trump’s lawyer,” Latt said. “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!'”
“Sharknado 3” went on to premiere in October 2015 to a 36% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Just over a year later, Donald Trump would win the presidential election, and Michael D. Cohen would soon be under FBI investigation for the Trump campaign’s alleged connections to Russia.