In January 2015, months before he declared himself as a presidential candidate and two years before he was sworn into office, Donald Trump was set to play the US president in Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!
The Syfy movie opens in Washington DC, where the capitol is being devastated by a sharknado strike (a shark-infested cyclone).
Producers at Asylum Film needed to cast a president, of course, but they couldn’t get their first choice for POTUS, Sarah Palin.
So, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Sharknado star Ian Ziering suggested Donald Trump, having worked with him on the Celebrity Apprentice.
Trump was “thrilled” by the offer and immediately agreed, said Asylum Film’s David Latt.
Meanwhile, conservative talking head Ann Coulter signed up to play the vice president.
But right at the last minute, the Trump casting fell through because, remarkably, he was distracted by his real-life campaign for US presidency.
“We got pretty far,” Sharknado 3 casting director Gerald Webb said of the Trump negotiations. “It was serious talks.”
A contract was even drawn up and sent to Trump’s lawyer Michael D Cohen.
Trump’s initial enthusiasm for the role was followed by weeks of silence, and eventually Cohen explained why:
“Donald’s thinking about making a legitimate run for the presidency, so we’ll get back to you,” Latt recalls Cohen saying. “This might not be the best time.”
Oh Hell No!
The Sharknado series has since released two more sequels – The 4th Awakens and Global Swarming – the latter of which premieres on Syfy on Sunday 6th August.