Marginally comedic actor Will Ferrell had his sights set on a comedy meant to mock former President Ronald Reagan’s Alzheimer’s disease. But the Reagan kids got in the way, shutting down this insane left-wing project.
First, the background …
Having already famously portrayed former President George W. Bush in various comedy sketches, Will Ferrell is now setting his sights on another former commander-in-chief.
Sources tell Variety Ferrell is attached to star as President Reagan in the Black List script “Reagan.”
Penned by Mike Rosolio, the story begins at the start of the then-president’s second term when he falls into dementia and an ambitious intern is tasked with convincing the commander-in-chief that he is an actor playing the president in a movie.
The script was so popular following its announcement on the Black List, an annual catalog of the top unproduced scripts in Hollywood, that a live read was done recently done in March starring Lena Dunham and John Cho.
Because nothing says ‘hilarity’ quite like the 6th leading cause of death amongst Americans.
But the Reagan family wasn’t about to take this nonsense laying down. Michael Reagan took to Twitter to blast everyone involved.
What an Outrag….Alzheimers is not joke…It kills..You should be ashamed all of you. https://t.co/GNzqR5vjrX
— Michael Reagan (@ReaganWorld) April 27, 2016
Ronald Reagan’s daughter, Patti Davis, also didn’t take too kindly to the project, penning a raw open letter to the actor after hearing the news.
The Blaze reports:
Davis also revealed her opinions in her open letter addressed to Ferrell.
“I saw the news bulletin — as did everyone — that you intend to portray my father in the throes of Alzheimer’s for a comedy that you are also producing,” Davis began. “Perhaps you have managed to retain some ignorance about Alzheimer’s and other versions of dementia. Perhaps if you knew more, you would not find the subject humorous.”
Davis proceeded to explain how Alzheimer’s doesn’t discriminate in whom it chooses to strike:
It steals what is most precious to a human being — memories, connections, the familiar landmarks of a lifetime that we all come to rely on to hold our place secure in this world and keep us linked to those we have come to know and love. I watched as fear invaded my father’s eyes — this man who was never afraid of anything. I heard his voice tremble as he stood in the living room and said, “I don’t know where I am.” I watched helplessly as he reached for memories, for words, that were suddenly out of reach and moving farther away.
Davis said that she watched her father suffer for “ten long years” as he drifted “past the memories that marked his life, past all that was familiar…and mercifully, finally past the fear.”
That letter just might have been the turning point, as we can now happily announce that Ferrell bowed to the backlash over mocking somebody with Alzheimer’s, and is running away from the project.
Fox News reports that Ferrell’s rep denied the movie was a comedy but regardless “Mr. Ferrell is not pursuing this project.”
Great job by the Reagan family. And shame on Ferrell, Rosolio, Hollywood in general, and anybody else who may have thought this was a worthwhile project to pursue in the first place.
Cross-posted at The Political Insider