Before becoming the actual president, Donald Trump almost played him in Sharknado 3

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Aug 2, 2017

With the fifth installment in Syfy’s Sharknado franchise hitting this weekend, it’s the perfect time to look back at all the insane cameos the franchise has featured over the years — plus the one that got away.

The Hollywood Reporter took a deep dive into the film series’ origins and legacy (if you dig B-movie inside baseball, it’s a fun read), but the real story was a casting coup that almost happened: Donald Trump was thisclose to playing the fictional president of the United States in Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! You know, before he launched a real run for president, and won the actual White House.

The story goes that star Ian Ziering was friends with Trump dating back to the actor’s stint on Celebrity Apprentice, and reached out about the gig. Trump was interested and initially said yes, according to The Asylum co-founder David Latt. The current commander in chief was apparently “thrilled” to be approached for the role, and they made it “pretty far” into negotiations. (Sarah Palin was also approached at the time, but declined.)

Once the contract was sent over, though, Trump’s camp apparently went quiet for weeks. Eventually, the production team was told Trump was considering a legitimate run for president, and felt playing him in a B-movie about shark-based weather catastrophes might not be the best way to kick it off. So the studio offered the role to Mark Cuban instead. That apparently didn’t sit well with Trump, who allegedly threatened to sue over being passed over for Cuban, according to Latt. Nothing ever came of it, though, and President Cuban guided the nation through the annual shark crisis with grace and aplomb.

And now Trump is in the White House. You know, the real one.

Sharknado 5: Global Swarming premieres August 6 on Syfy.

(Via The Hollywood Reporter)