Idiocracy Writer Says Donald Trump Made The Movie A Reality Faster Than He Ever Imagined

Early in the 2016 primary race, comedy screenwriter Etan Cohen began to notice some similarities between the Republican candidate, mendacious former reality star Donald Trump, and Cohen’s 2006 movie Idiocracy, which features fictional wrestling champ-turned-president Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho (Terry Crews). Ever since, those similarities have only grown, leading to Cohen and Mike Judge, who wrote and also directed Idiocracy, now working on a series of anti-Trump ads with Crews reprising his role.

The 2006 satire shows a semi-distant future in which the world has been overrun by dummies and, as a result, is falling apart. At first, the parallels to the real primary race were “just a general lizard brain kind of thing: The presidency is all about entertainment value,” Cohen, who also directed and wrote the 2015 comedy Get Hard and co-wrote the 2008 hit comedy Tropic Thunder, told BuzzFeed News over the phone. “Then it started to get, as the year went on, weirdly specific. People pointing out things like, ‘Oh, Camacho was a wrestler and Trump was a wrestler.’ … It’s like, the more things go on, the more it actually seems to be kind of merging in a very specific, eerie way.”

Cohen and Judge have always maintained that the movie had a kernel of truth to it, but, Cohen said, “We just thought it would take much, much longer to get to this point.” The film was meant as a satire of the obsession with celebrity and entertainment culture in America. “Obviously, when writing the movie, we knew that that was true about TV and movies and pop culture,” he said. “But it was a crazy joke to think that it could be extrapolated to politics. It seems to be happening really rapidly.”
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