Will Ferrell has just boosted his creds with his leftist Hollywood peers by agreeing to play Ronald Reagan in a comedy mocking the former president's struggles with the early stages of Alzheimer's. According to a report by Variety published Wednesday, Ferrell is now officially attached to both star in and produce "Reagan," based off a Black List script by Mike Rosolio that has recently created a buzz among the Reagan-resenting Hollywood elites.
Variety describes the story as beginning at the start of Reagan'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."
After Rosolio's script was included in the Black List, an annual catalog of top unproduced scripts, word began to spread about the project, eventually leading to a live read in March that included Josh Brolin and the infamously tasteless, Hillary Clinton mouthpiece Lena Dunham. While no director is yet listed, Ferrell's Gary Sanchez Productions will help produce.
Hollywood has really ramped up its anti-conservative, anti-Republican history rewriting projects as of late. Not only is it going after one of conservative America's most beloved and impactful presidents by spreading a myth about his second term, it's also targeted Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas for the sin of being conservative while being black in the overtly dishonest hit-piece Confirmation (which also stars a Hillary Clinton surrogate, by the way). You stay classy, Hollywood.
UPDATE 1 (Thurs 4/28): Patti Davis, the daughter of Ronald and Nancy Reagan, posted a devastating open letter to Ferrell Thursday in response to his decision to take on the shameful project.
"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 begins. "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. Alzheimer’s doesn’t care if you are President of the United States or a dockworker. 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."
Davis goes on to provide a heartbreaking description of the effects of Alzheimer's she witnessed firsthand on her father. (See complete letter below.)
UPDATE 2 (Fri 4/29): After Davis and Michael Reagan called out Ferrell for pursuing the deplorable "dementia comedy," a spokesman for the actor confirmed Friday that he was backing out of the project.
"The REAGAN script is one of a number of scripts that had been submitted to Will Ferrell which he had considered," said the spokesman according to Page Six. "While it is by no means a ‘Alzheimer’s comedy’ as has been suggested, Mr. Ferrell is not pursuing this project."
Dear Mr. 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. 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.
Alzheimer’s doesn’t care if you are President of the United States or a dockworker. 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. For ten long years he drifted — past the memories that marked his life, past all that was familiar…and mercifully, finally past the fear.
There was laughter in those years, but there was never humor.
Alzheimer’s is the ultimate pirate, pillaging a person’s life and leaving an empty landscape behind. It sweeps up entire families, forcing everyone to claw their way through overwhelming grief, confusion, helplessness, and anger. Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have — I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.
Twice a week I run a support group called Beyond Alzheimer’s for caregivers and family members of those with Alzheimer’s and dementia. I look into haunted eyes that remind me of my own when my father was ill. I listen to stories of helplessness and loss and am continually moved by the bravery of those who wake up every morning not knowing who their loved one will be that day, or what will be lost. The only certainty with Alzheimer’s is that more will be lost and the disease will always win in the end.
Perhaps you would like to explain to them how this disease is suitable material for a comedy.