Trump Almost Played The President In ‘Sharknado 3,’ Wanted To Shut The Movie Down When Cuban Was Cast Instead

Donald Trump turned down the opportunity to star in Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! after he decided that he didn’t just want to play the president on TV. This created a job for another billionaire, which reportedly made Trump very unhappy.

In 2015, Donald Trump was up for the role of the president of the United States in the Syfy original movie, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Ian Ziering, the star of Sharknado film franchise, lobbied for Trump to get the part after producers failed to nab their first choice to play the president, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Ziering had previously appeared alongside Trump on the billionaire businessman’s NBC reality series, Celebrity Apprentice.

Trump reportedly jumped at the opportunity to portray a fictional commander-in-chief capable of blasting flying sharks from the sky with a big gun. David Latt, the co-founder of the production company behind the Sharknado series, said that Trump was “thrilled” about the offer.

“The Donald said yes,” Latt recalled.

However, Donald Trump’s real-life political aspirations would prevent the real estate tycoon from starring in the Syfy flick. The Sharknado producers sent Trump’s attorney, Michael D. Cohen, a contract to review, but they didn’t hear back from him for weeks. Cohen eventually informed the Sharknado team that Trump was busy mulling over the idea of running for president, so the role was offered to another successful businessman with his own reality show, Shark Tank star Mark Cuban. This allegedly infuriated Team Trump.

“Then we immediately heard from Trump’s lawyer,” said 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!'”

Cohen says that he doesn’t recall this angry outburst, but it’s no secret that Donald Trump isn’t the biggest fan of Mark Cuban. As CNBC reports, the president has targeted the vocal Hillary Clinton supporter on Twitter on more than one occasion. Back in February, Trump tweeted that Cuban “is not smart enough to run for president.” He also called him “dopey.”

On Wednesday afternoon, Mark Cuban responded to the Hollywood Reporter‘s Sharknado casting story with his own tweet about Trump. He quipped that Trump’s presidential announcement speech was based on the script for Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!

In Sharknado 3, President Marcus Robbins (Cuban) and Fin Shepard (Ziering) have to escape from the White House as it’s being torn apart by high winds. Sharks begin flying through huge holes in the walls, and Robbins and Shepard use guns and grenades to blow them to bits. They escape by jumping through a window just before the building is impaled by a massive chunk of the Washington Monument.

Before giving up his Hollywood career to “make America great again,” Donald Trump made cameos in numerous movies and TV series. As Newsweek reports, he usually played himself, with two of his most well-known appearances being in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York and Zoolander. He and another of his celebrity nemeses, Rosie O’Donnell, also appeared in the same episode of Fran Drescher’s popular sitcom, The Nanny. According to the show’s co-creator, Peter Marc Jacobson, Trump complained about the script because it had a character describing him as a millionaire, not a billionaire.

While Donald Trump won’t be making a cameo in the next Sharknado installment, its tagline was inspired by the president: “Make America bait again.” Sharknado 5: Global Swarming premieres Sunday on 8 p.m. ET on Syfy.

[Featured Image by Alex Wong/Getty Images]

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