Actor Will Ferrell has pulled out of the movie “Reagan,” a controversial comedy depicting the late president Ronald Reagan’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
“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 suggested, Mr. Ferrell is not pursuing this project,” said Ferrell’s spokesperson.
Will Ferrell’s spokesman says he won’t be participating in the Reagan film making fun of Alzheimer’s https://t.co/zKLTCLCMoO
— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) April 29, 2016
The announcement comes after the movie’s content was repeatedly condemned by members of the Reagan family, including the late president’s son Michael and his daughter Patti Davis, who wrote an open letter addressing the film:
“Perhaps you have managed to retain some ignorance about Alzheimer’s and other versions of dementia,” wrote Davis.
“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.”
Ms. Davis reminisced about the difficult years.
“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.”
The Reagan Foundation also put out a statement about the film saying, “We find it disgusting that such a film would even be considered by Mr. Ferrell or anyone else.”
The script was written by Mike Rosolio and was so popular on the Black List, an annual catalog of the top unproduced scripts in Hollywood, that it was given a high profile reading by Lena Dunham and John Cho.
A version of the script was leaked to the Telegraph, and according to their report, it features the ex-president looking for “a mark”—a place where actors are suppose to stand.
His intern then assumes the role of a bullying director to keep Reagan “in character” regardless of whether or not the cameras are rolling.
Will Ferrell is known for his comedically presidential portrayal of George W. Bush on Saturday Night Live.