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The Sharknado film series has never hesitated when trying to go balls-to-the-wall with what it brings to audiences. It turns out that back in the bonkers third installment, Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!, the producers wanted to pull a Simpsons by landing Donald Trump as its President of the United States. The Asylum-produced project apparently came very close to landing him, too, and even the eventual casting of Mark Cuban didn't go without getting some Trump-infused blowback.
Whenever Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! was first coming together, producers wanted to get Sarah Palin to take on the Presidential role, but those negotiations didn't pan out. Because franchise star Ian Ziering had recently been on Celebrity Apprentice with Donald Trump, he made the relevant suggestion about bringing the billionaire in, and according to THR, Trump's response was very positive at first, and he was reportedly pumped to get the invite. In fact, the negotiations went "pretty far" with Trump's lawyer Michael D. Cohen, as stated by Gerald Webb, a casting director for the first three films.
But then things took a turns for the worse for Sharknado, depending on how one looks at it all. At first, Donald Trump's team started to balk at the offer, saying that the business mogul's legitimate intent to run for President could possibly get in the way. And then once that apparently became more of a concrete situation, the Sharknado producers accepted his non-involvement and reached out to another familiar face from reality TV, Shark Tank's Mark Cuban.
But that was not the most pleasing move that the Sharknado team could have made at that time, at least as far as Donald Trump's side was concerned. Here's what Asylum co-founder David Latt says happened after Mark Cuban signed on.
Then we immediately heard from Trump's lawyer. 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!'
For what it's worth, lawyer Michael D. Cohen acknowledged to THR that the discussions about Trump's involvement occurred, but that he had no memory of any of the conversations or emails getting heated or angry. To be expected, of course.
Make sure you've got your American flags waving proudly (or something), as Sharknado 5: Global Swarming will make its cloud-shattering and cameo-filled debut on Syfy on Sunday, August 6, at 8:00 p.m. ET. If you're in need of more madness hitting the small screen before and after that, head to our summer premiere guide and our fall TV schedule.