Actor Johnny Depp may have fallen short of an Oscar nomination for his raved performance as James “Whitey” Bulger in last year’s “Black Mass,” but he has a shot at TV awards recognition for a biopic of a completely different sort.
Funny or Die will be submitting parody film “Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal: The Movie” for Emmy consideration, Variety has learned, marking the web production company’s first-ever submission in longform content categories for a project that premiered on its website.
In the 50-minute film — which was released online on Feb. 10 to coincide with the New Hampshire primary, but pulled within two weeks (it will be released again soon) — Depp stars as the now-presumptive Republican presidential nominee in a project “based” on his 1988 autobiography, “The Art of the Deal.” It was directed by “Drunk History” creator Jeremy Konner and written by Joe Randazzo (The Onion, “@midnight”).
Funny or Die also submitted original music and lyrics from Kenny Loggins (who performed and co-wrote the film’s title track), as well as Depp’s makeup team and bids for writing and directing.
The movie comes complete with its own faux background, laid out by Ron Howard in bookends: In 1988, Trump wrote, directed and starred in a made-for-TV movie based on his bestselling book “The Art of the Deal.” But the film never aired because, as legend has it, it was preempted by a Monday Night Football game and Trump furiously refused to release it.
Alfred Molina, Patton Oswalt, Henry Winkler and ’80s alien icon ALF all make cameo appearances.
Depp’s Trump impression is on point in the film, and he also harnesses the name-calling businessman/politician’s trademark petulance. Whether he can generate serious consideration, well, that could be a tall order. His category is pretty stacked this year, with competition from Ian McKellen and Anthony Hopkins (“The Dresser”), Bryan Cranston (“All the Way”), Benedict Cumberbatch (“Sherlock”), Idris Elba (“Luther”), etc., not to mention limited series candidates like Oscar Isaac (“Show Me a Hero”), Courtney B. Vance and Cuba Gooding Jr. (“The People v. O.J. Simpson”) and Tom Hiddleston (“The Night Manager”).
Funny or Die did get a surprise nomination for Kristen Wiig for the IFC miniseries spoof “The Spoils of Babylon” two years ago, while Bill Murray is another oddity in the mix after picking up a SAG nomination for Netflix’s “A Very Murray Christmas” earlier this year, so this kind of thing isn’t unheard of.
Funny or Die Editor-in-Chief Owen Burke has said the idea with “The Art of the Deal” was to move quickly with the project because all involved assumed Trump would fade away from the presidential landscape. Three months later, here we are …
Check out the trailer for “Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal: The Movie” below.