ABC television is looking for an actor with a good comb-over.
Capitalizing on the celebrity of a rival network star, ABC has ordered production to begin on a two-hour movie about real estate tycoon Donald Trump, whose success as host of NBC’s reality hit “The Apprentice” has boosted his status as a pop culture icon, ABC said on Wednesday.
No air date has been set for the TV biography, but casting will start immediately and the movie could begin shooting as early as next month.
The challenge of casting the lead will be to find someone who can convey the charisma and “unapologetic self confidence” projected by the real Trump, said Quinn Taylor, senior vice president for movies and miniseries at ABC.
“This is a man who continually invented and reinvented himself,” Taylor told Reuters “He’s terribly driven --obviously has a need and desire to succeed, and the wherewithal and chutzpah to do it, primarily on his terms.”
He said the role could end up being filled with a name performer or a newcomer, adding that Trump’s signature hairstyle posed no particular problem.
“A comb-over is not a prerequisite. That’s the beauty of a good wig,” Taylor said.
The Donald himself is not cooperating with the project. Instead, ABC has acquired rights to Gwenda Blair’s 2001 book, ”The Trumps: Three Generations That Built an Empire,” which will serve as source material for the movie.
ABC said the film will cover the past 25 years of Trump’s roller-coaster business career and personal life, which has long been fodder for tabloid headlines chronicling his casino deals and relationships with supermodels. But the network said the project would steer away from details about his latest incarnation as a TV star.
There was no immediate comment from either NBC or the Trump Organization.
ABC has enjoyed success with other made-for-TV biographies in recent years, drawing solid ratings and favorable reviews for films on such subjects as Judy Garland, Three Stooges and the Beach Boys, according to Daily Variety.
But the network fell flat in September with an attempt to steal some thunder from NBC by airing a “Primetime Live” expose on Trump opposite “The Apprentice.”