MANILA, Philippines – Following real estate magnate and Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s win in the New Hampshire primaries last Tuesday (Wednesday, February 10 in Manila), an ‘80s-style film based on his best-selling 1987 book The Art of the Deal has surfaced – featuring no less than Johnny Depp.
Or this is at least in a similarly titled Funny or Die mockumentary that looks like a worn-out videotape from the ‘80s.
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. He says, “The Art of the Deal was almost never seen. It was pre-empted by Monday night football in 1988.”
Actor Johnny Depp plays the divisive figure in American politics, and nails it – from Trump’s signature bravado down to his inflection. “No, I don’t want to be a loser! I wanna be a winner!” exclaims Depp’s take on Trump – with some Captain Jack Sparrow-like hand gestures.
The 1980s-styled parody is 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.”
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.
The Funny or Die film video also enlists the help of other stars, to name a few: Alfred Molina, Robert Morse, Patton Oswalt, Jack McBrayer, Michaela Watkins, Henry Winkler, Stephen Merchant, and Christopher Lloyd.
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. – With reports from AFP/Rappler.com