I don’t think I am going out on a limb by saying Hollywood is chomping at the bit to write a biopic of President Donald Trump. And with scenes that are being played out in real time, this theater of the absurd will be a doozy.
You better believe that Arron Sorkin, the master of portraying dramatic dysfunction (West Wing, The Newsroom) and Oliver Stone, the master of conspiracy theories (JFK) will be picking apart 45’s presidency with a fine-tooth comb. Sorkin has never created a character he doesn’t draw blood from, and Stone makes Bannon’s Breitbart conspiracies look like child’s play.
And while fans of Tarantino would love to see a face-off full combat scene between Trump, finger on a missile launcher, and the Rocket Man standing alongside Dennis Rodman, I think Sorkin will take on the Jungian complexities of 45, and Stone will be a heck of a lot more ruthless in his characterization.
An Imaginary Conversation
The following is an imaginary conversation between screenwriters/directors Aaron Sorkin and Oliver Stone discussing a biopic about Donald Trump, 45th president of the United States.
Ext: Hollywood Studio Back Lot, The Present
Sorkin: Hey, Oliver. How’s it going? Are you surviving Trump?
Stone: I’ve been shell shocked for 9 months. I’m worried sick about the damage to our American institutions. Everyone is keeping their heads down inside the White House since Kelly came on the scene. Something suspicious about him.
Sorkin: It doesn’t matter who’s in charge. Trump is still the guy from Queens, an authentic fraud crippled by presidential neurosis.
Stone: Someone in that White House is still advancing the Breitbart agenda. They’re plucking the feathers out of 45, banishing him to the grave yard of presidents.
Sorkin: It’s all about 45’s cognitive dissonance.
Stone: I’m inclined to think the movie starts with the dimmest of Freudian analysis. Fred Trump made his money building low-income housing in Queens, and the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.
Sorkin: Payback’s a bitch. 45 couldn’t start a business in Queens let alone Manhattan.
Stone: I was on Wall Street when 45 spent decades trying to get into the money club. Out of nowhere, he wins the election and finally has the bankers by the balls.
Sorkin: He’s a cheap provocateur with mega hutzpah, happiest when he is in the middle of some spat. He calls himself a counter puncher, but he’s really a Queens street brawler.
Stone: You know all those guys who think 45 is going get them jobs, bring back coal? It’s Theater of the Ridiculous.
Sorkin: Answer me how he comes off as a good guy to 35% of America? He tells lies to his base and passes them off as the truth, then shouts out fake news. That’s some pathology.
Sorkin: He thinks charm will cover his inability to be emotionally honest.
Stone: Try sarcasm as his default position, aimed mostly at women, objectifying them every chance he gets.
Sorkin: Talk about an obsession. look at his slavish devotion to the military. He desperately wants what they have, like courage, worthiness, respect, but he doesn’t have a code of honor to go with that. You can’t make this stuff up.
Stone: The boarding school at the New York Military Academy is interesting. We could use a scene where 45 hides his own vulnerability when confronted with lying. So, he blames others to deflect his shame about his inadequacies.
Sorkin: What bothers me most is that he shows no loyalty to anyone, except maybe his family, but that still remains to be seen. And no core principles except his obsession with the art of dealing and wining.
Stone: Power unhinged. He pushes people around, humiliates staff, tells Comey that ethics are for suckers and compliance is for the flock. In Charlotte, he talked about his winery; in Phoenix, he talked about the crowds; in North Dakota, he introduced his daughter as “baby.” Nothing’s inappropriate. He still has his playlist from Queens.
Sorkin: Which includes an America without immigrants, different skin colors, and foreign languages.
Stone: He tells his base: “You’re going to be happy, very, very happy. Wait until you see what you’re going to see happen. Millions of people are going to be very happy. But what is it that will make you happy, folks?”
Sorkin: More Twitter? No clear objectives, goals, policies or organizational systems for himself or staff? Shoot from the hip and change your mind every time you think about it?
Stone: I’m exhausted with this. Let’s go to Musso and Frank for dinner.
Sorkin: What about Congress? He deals in deception and then he goes back to the Oval Office and tells his pals what he really thinks of the douche bags Ryan and O’Connell.
Stone: He doesn’t play well with others in the sandbox, Aaron. Congress is a pain in the ass for him. He likes consensus but only when it gives him a win.
Sorkin: Here’s our golden nugget: I don’t think 45 wanted to be president in the first place. Somebody talked him into it. Bannon gave him an agenda. His inflated image made him a Manchurian candidate.
Sorkin: I think we need to serialize Trump’s story, Oliver. A movie can’t contain this unending idiocy. I say Netflix.
Stone: Screw it, let’s just give it Tarantino and let’s see some blood and guts –a big shoot ‘em out style ending like 7 years A Slave, in a classic Tarrantino slow-mo/music blaring montage as the audience erupts in campy and awkward laughter. That’s an ending I’d pay to see.
Sorkin and Stone walk off the lot arm in arm smiling like Cheshire cats.