Following intense pressure, Will Ferrell won’t make a comedy about Ronald Reagan after all — not when word leaked it would deal with the late president’s struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.
As The New York Post reported: “The 48-year-old comic confirmed Friday that while he had seen the script and considered signing on to star in and produce ‘Reagan,’ he was no longer going ahead with the project.
“A spokesperson for Will said, ‘The REAGAN script is one of a number of scripts that had been submitted to Will Ferrell which he had considered. While it is by no means a ‘Alzheimer’s comedy’ as has been suggest.'”
Members of Reagan’s family used a full-court press to nip the film in the bud, including daughter Patti Davis in an open letter 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. 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. …
“There was laughter in those years, but there was never humor. … Perhaps you would like to explain to them how this disease is suitable material for a comedy.”
England’s Independent noted: “The plot is summarised on the Black List as: ‘When Ronald Reagan falls into dementia at the start of his second term, an ambitious intern is tasked with convincing the Commander-In-Chief that he is an actor playing the President in a movie.’”
Other reactions to the pullout:
Thankyou for taking the right path.If u want to know more about the decease contact myself or Patti. https://t.co/GGAVV8fyoR
— Michael Reagan (@ReaganWorld) April 29, 2016
Will Ferrell will not star in Reagan, a “comedy” about the Pres suffering from Alzheimer’s. Anyone involved should be ashamed.
— The Moderate Man (@TheModerateMan) April 29, 2016