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Will Ferrell won't be playing Ronald Reagan after all

04.29.2016

george w. bush, will ferrell, saturday night live, snl

It was only a couple days ago that Will Ferrell was reportedly in talks to star as the late Ronald Reagan in a fictional comedy that would have seen the former President at the start of his second term and in the beginning stages of suffering from dementia being convinced by an intern that he's simply playing the role of Commander In Chief in a movie. 

That didn't last very long. 

After a firestorm commenced regarding the comedy treatment of dementia and Alzheimer's, Ferrell has backed away from the project and won't be returning. Since news spread of the film, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis wrote an open letter to Ferrell that read, "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." Then there was the Alzheimer's Association also weighing in with the following statement: "Would filmmakers consider using a fatal form of cancer or another deadly disease for comedy? It's time to stop this forever." 

Ferrell's spokesperson released a statement discussing any potential involvement the actor might have had with the film, saying, "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 an 'Alzheimers comedy' as has been suggested, Mr. Ferrell is not pursuing this project."

I understand people's negative response to the concept of the film on paper, and I don't think it's unreasonable to ask others to be sensitive about a disease that affects many on a daily basis... but let's not forget that this is a script most criticizing it have not read and, therefore, are rushing to judgment on with very little information. And that's always where the problem with these fleeting outrages come about... It's demanding others feel the same as you, even if you may only have a surface level understanding of the issues at hand. I wish some of those who see REAGAN as offensive would have the opportunity to flip through the pages of the screenplay and see how they feel when they come out the other side. If they're still bothered by what they read, then so be it... At least they had all the facts to form a considerate opinion. But what if they found themselves laughing here and there? Wouldn't that have been the point?

We'll see what winds up becoming of Mike Rosolio's Black List script now. 

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1:28PM on 04/30/2016
I fully suppprt their right to make it, but I also acknowledge the fact that anybody in Hollywood who decided to make a "comedy" about FDR suffering from polio would never work again.
I fully suppprt their right to make it, but I also acknowledge the fact that anybody in Hollywood who decided to make a "comedy" about FDR suffering from polio would never work again.
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6:49AM on 04/30/2016

The good news

The good news is it will free him up to play Obama in blackface. You know a comedy like "Soul Man". or vaudeville back in the day.
See he's this kid with one black parent one white so HE "blackens" himself to win a political race or two, next thing he knows HE"S IN the "WHITE HOUSE"!
OHHHHHH LAWDY!!!!

Shoe on the foot, not so funny now huh?

The good news is it will free him up to play Obama in blackface. You know a comedy like "Soul Man". or vaudeville back in the day.
See he's this kid with one black parent one white so HE "blackens" himself to win a political race or two, next thing he knows HE"S IN the "WHITE HOUSE"!
OHHHHHH LAWDY!!!!

Shoe on the foot, not so funny now huh?

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+2
11:37PM on 04/29/2016
You PC bruh?
You PC bruh?
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10:54PM on 04/29/2016
I understand why some folks might be offended. But honestly, for comedy to be able to exist something and someone have to be made fun of. I'm far more concerned about the regressive tendency of society to be offended by everything and anything than I am that a movie might make fun of something or someone.
I understand why some folks might be offended. But honestly, for comedy to be able to exist something and someone have to be made fun of. I'm far more concerned about the regressive tendency of society to be offended by everything and anything than I am that a movie might make fun of something or someone.
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1:19AM on 04/30/2016
No judgement from me but I kind of figured you would be the last person to be okay with this. Am I correct in assuming you would have no problem with, or at the very least be okay with this film being made?
No judgement from me but I kind of figured you would be the last person to be okay with this. Am I correct in assuming you would have no problem with, or at the very least be okay with this film being made?
2:48AM on 04/30/2016
Well yes. Since I'm not a leftist, I have no interest in silencing others, even if I might disapprove of the message. Being offended is never a good reason to silence anyone.
Well yes. Since I'm not a leftist, I have no interest in silencing others, even if I might disapprove of the message. Being offended is never a good reason to silence anyone.
7:02AM on 04/30/2016
So I can do "another" film with you mom then?
So I can do "another" film with you mom then?
12:21PM on 04/30/2016
Have at it champ.
Have at it champ.
2:15PM on 04/30/2016
I just want to point out that when you get into the religious Right, with War on Christmas and religious freedom, I don't consider them particularly open to expression. However, I am more than happy to recognize people on the left overstepping with regard to "sensitivity."
I just want to point out that when you get into the religious Right, with War on Christmas and religious freedom, I don't consider them particularly open to expression. However, I am more than happy to recognize people on the left overstepping with regard to "sensitivity."
8:31PM on 04/30/2016
@HoyleHaw You can point that out if you like, but I'm not sure that it has any validity.

We don't find the religious right yelling, screaming, chanting, and marching in protest of whatever it is that's fashionable to protest this season.

We don't find the religious right screaming at presentations in an attempt to silence and intimidate political opposition.

We don't find the religious right reporting or flagging websites or posts on Facebook or on blogs or YouTube video as
@HoyleHaw You can point that out if you like, but I'm not sure that it has any validity.

We don't find the religious right yelling, screaming, chanting, and marching in protest of whatever it is that's fashionable to protest this season.

We don't find the religious right screaming at presentations in an attempt to silence and intimidate political opposition.

We don't find the religious right reporting or flagging websites or posts on Facebook or on blogs or YouTube video as inappropriate in order to make the information unavailable to others.

We don't find the religious right dreaming up the safe space concept because they fall to pieces when they read or hear an idea that they don't like.

We don't find the religious right promoting hilarious ideas of micro-aggression or checking privileges in order to suppress the speech of their political opposition.

We don't find the religious right handcuffing themselves and standing on a freeway to block a political candidate from speaking.

We don't find the religious right wringing their hands over the pure idiocy of political correctness in order to make it more difficult for their political opposition to articulate their points more effectively.

We don't find the religious right supporting Fairness Doctrines or Net Neutralizes.

So the religious right may from time to time frown upon various forms of expression, particularly when they come from uneducated leftists.

But you don't find the religious right seeking to silence forms of expression that they frown upon, in the same way you find the left consistently seeking to silence their own political expression, since they're fully aware that they posses inferior arguments that are incapable of withstanding free debate.


7:28AM on 05/02/2016
I live in Oklahoma where the religious right have massive political sway and I have to say you are mistaken on many of your points.

"We don't find the religious right yelling, screaming, chanting, and marching in protest of whatever it is that's fashionable to protest this season."

Except for all the anti-Islam and LGBT protests happening all over the country. Hell there have even been a sizable increase in religious protests at comic and anime conventions. Protesting comics? It's like
I live in Oklahoma where the religious right have massive political sway and I have to say you are mistaken on many of your points.

"We don't find the religious right yelling, screaming, chanting, and marching in protest of whatever it is that's fashionable to protest this season."

Except for all the anti-Islam and LGBT protests happening all over the country. Hell there have even been a sizable increase in religious protests at comic and anime conventions. Protesting comics? It's like Fredric Wertham never died.

"We don't find the religious right screaming at presentations in an attempt to silence and intimidate political opposition."

Here ya go

[link]

[link]

"We don't find the religious right reporting or flagging websites or posts on Facebook or on blogs or YouTube video as inappropriate in order to make the information unavailable to others."

You have to be kidding. The fear mongering that Christians perpetrate in the name of votes is staggering.They jump on anything that doesn't fit their world view. Sound familiar? Everything you rant about is just the flip side of the same coin.

"We don't find the religious right dreaming up the safe space concept because they fall to pieces when they read or hear an idea that they don't like."

They don't have to dream that up because its fundamentally built into their religion. They're called churches. Have you ever tried to debate an entire youth group about inconsistencies in their belief structure? I have and that's why I never went back. Call out a southern Baptist for some dumb shit at a summer camp like falls creek and you'll be lucky if you don't get jumped by a group of people who must've skipped the "turn the other cheek" sermon.

"We don't find the religious right promoting hilarious ideas of micro-aggression or checking privileges in order to suppress the speech of their political opposition."

No, but isn't the war on christmas charade similar to the micro-aggression idea? From starbucks coffee cups, to questioning the race of Santa, or even Jesus, to being berated by a customer for saying, I shit you not, happy christmas. Hell, I'm sure if read by the wrong people just me not capitalizing christmas and christian is enough to get some undies in a twist.

"We don't find the religious right handcuffing themselves and standing on a freeway to block a political candidate from speaking."

Nope, here in Oklahoma just have a bunch of redneck idiots waving a confederate flag at the president during his visit.

"We don't find the religious right wringing their hands over the pure idiocy of political correctness in order to make it more difficult for their political opposition to articulate their points more effectively."

But is't religious correctness just as bad? While I know you use PC as an ad hominem attack, political correctness when used properly is supposed to be an empathetic view of others and their issues. But in all fairness it does get used for a lot of the wrong reasons. What does religious correctness do? It judges everybody by a single, narrow doctrine that simply does't apply to everyone. How is one passable while the other is the end of our country as we know it?

"We don't find the religious right supporting Fairness Doctrines or Net Neutralizes."

You got me there. They just waste time and money trying to put up Christian monuments on public grounds while blocking any other religion from presenting anything contrary to their beliefs.

"So the religious right may from time to time frown upon various forms of expression, particularly when they come from uneducated leftists.

But you don't find the religious right seeking to silence forms of expression that they frown upon, in the same way you find the left consistently seeking to silence their own political expression, since they're fully aware that they posses inferior arguments that are incapable of withstanding free debate."

The religious right has done nothing other than seeking to silence forms of expression they frown upon. Forms of personal expression, sexual identity, religious or non-religious identity that doesn't fit their own creed. It is constant and unending. Religious groups are the reason you can't buy cold high-point beer in my state, or buy liquor at all on Sundays. Religious groups that preach exclusion of contrary beliefs are just as much to blame as anything you rail against. What you are seeing is pure action-reaction. For centuries (not even a hint of hyperbole there) Christians have used their book to enforce and justify all kinds of ridiculousness and the internet of all things have given a voice to a vast group of minorities that want what little bit of the pie is left for them. It just seems like a lot because its been bubbling under the surface for a very long time. Any sort of social progression is a pendulum swing. At first it has to swing as far and as wide as it can, but eventually will even out.

But I know this will fall on deaf ears, as you have no interest in a dialog if your soap box isn't involved.

Sorry if I wasted your time with my uneducated, commie, PC, leftist, libtard dribble.
2:57AM on 05/03/2016
@jsin.atomic

What anti-islam and LGBT protests? What comic andf anime protests? Are a couple of stray hecklers supposed to compare to this: [link]

And honestly, how do we know those hecklers weren't leftists attempting to perpetrate yet another hate hoax that leftists are so notorious for perpetrating in order to prove points that don't exist: [link]

Nothing in your diatribe even remotely resembles reality. But does it sound familiar? Indeed it does. It sounds like a student
@jsin.atomic

What anti-islam and LGBT protests? What comic andf anime protests? Are a couple of stray hecklers supposed to compare to this: [link]

And honestly, how do we know those hecklers weren't leftists attempting to perpetrate yet another hate hoax that leftists are so notorious for perpetrating in order to prove points that don't exist: [link]

Nothing in your diatribe even remotely resembles reality. But does it sound familiar? Indeed it does. It sounds like a student parroting the nonsense he gets from his idiot professors, who in turn parrot that nonsense that they heard 1960s era comedians rant about.

What you offer is empty rhetoric. Not facts. What Christian fear mongering are you babbling about? Do you have any specifics you can point to?

When you say debate, do you actually mean genuine debate? Or do you mean stupidly yelling at people and talking over them and then crying foul when they show your misbehaving ass to the door?

The War on Christmas is a charade? Better tell that to idiot leftists. [link]

The problem you're having is that political correctness can never be used correctly, because it is inherently incorrect. If you're too sensitive to handle reading or hearing words, then you should lock yourself up in a closet and weep quietly to yourself in the dark.

You keep accusing the religious right of things that leftists themselves are guilty of. Leftists are the very face of intolerance. Leftists are the exact opposite of everything that they preach everyone else around them should be.

There's nothing wrong with putting Christian monuments on public grounds. Freedom of religion, and freedom from religion are two entirely different and separate things. If you want freedom from religion, move to the communist nation of your choice.

The religious right doesn't seek to silence opposing voices. Period. You don't find religious activists pushing for legislation to silence voices they don't like. You don't see religious activists engaging in these antics: [link] We see this crap from leftists routinely because not only are they uneducated fascists, they're also unhinged lunatics as well who can't control their own behavior when they read or hear words they don't like. So your assertion that the religious right has sought to silence others is pure rhetorical nonsense that I've heard too many times, with zero evidence to support the claim.

Remember, in the age of YouTube, leftist antics are routinely recorded and posted for all the world to see. If the religious right were doing these things as often, we'd see it as often. And of course we just don't. And yur rants against Christians are eerily reminiscent of the uneducated beef that Adolf Hitler had with them. [link] The funny part is, you don't even know why you've been programmed to hate Christianity, and your idiot professors won't tell you. It's because it was the leading force in Western Civilization, and there fore socialists see it as an obstacle to socialist indoctrination. [link]

You've been taken advantage of, kid. By elderly has-been hippie professors who want to relive their misspent youth, and by middle-aged hippie wannabe professors who feel that they missed out on the 1960s, to recreate a decade of moronic misbehavior. But the reality is that they're not teaching you anything worthwhile; they're wasting your time. And that's what makes you uneducated. You're not gaining anything of value from your college, which today is nothing more than a fascism factory.

How does it feel to be used as a mindless drone in the Collective?
1:01PM on 05/03/2016
As if on freaking cue: [link]

As if on freaking cue: [link]

+3
10:27PM on 04/29/2016

For everyone saying that people just can't take a joke....

I live in Chicago where Harold Washington (the first black mayor) was a very popular and revered figure by the minority community. About 5 years after he died, an artist painted a portrait of him in a dress that was hung in the Museum. Within a day, Left-wing protesters came and literally took down the painting themselves and refused to allow it to be shown (and physically threatened the artist). 25 years later we have college campuses where students demand "Safe spaces" where they don't
I live in Chicago where Harold Washington (the first black mayor) was a very popular and revered figure by the minority community. About 5 years after he died, an artist painted a portrait of him in a dress that was hung in the Museum. Within a day, Left-wing protesters came and literally took down the painting themselves and refused to allow it to be shown (and physically threatened the artist). 25 years later we have college campuses where students demand "Safe spaces" where they don't have to hear opinions they disagree with (and teachers have been suspended or fired for disagreeing with Leftist opinions of students).

So it's really not all that surprising that a movie made about a man who became ill, then died quickly after leaving the office where they make fun of his time in the office because of his illness causes some people to be offended. If you think Republicans and his family members are being too sensitive, feel free to go to your local college and loudly declare your opposition to their political or social views and see what thin-skinned really looks like.
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9:27PM on 04/29/2016
This is a tough one. Despite Ferrell's legitimate acting talent, it's hard not to jump to the conclusion that this project would have featured a serious disease in a tasteless slapstick way. I've read details about the script where it seems to treat Reagan the person quite respectfully. But at its core, it seems most of the humor comes from bumbling cabinet members misunderstanding Reagans requests. The problem is that it seems to still use a serious disease as the butt of its jokes opposed to
This is a tough one. Despite Ferrell's legitimate acting talent, it's hard not to jump to the conclusion that this project would have featured a serious disease in a tasteless slapstick way. I've read details about the script where it seems to treat Reagan the person quite respectfully. But at its core, it seems most of the humor comes from bumbling cabinet members misunderstanding Reagans requests. The problem is that it seems to still use a serious disease as the butt of its jokes opposed to trying to depict a difficult situation with heartfelt humor and optimism like 50/50 did. It's probably for the best that they put this one back on the shelf.
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7:15PM on 04/29/2016
I guess I'm in the minority on this one, I thought it did seem a little distasteful based on the very little I know. I certainly wouldn't attack Will Ferrell; he's free to choose whatever projects he wants to do or not do for whatever reasons he wants. I'm actually curious given the 50/50 mention below, what Seth Rogen thinks of this project, given his involvement in Alzheimer's related issues.
I guess I'm in the minority on this one, I thought it did seem a little distasteful based on the very little I know. I certainly wouldn't attack Will Ferrell; he's free to choose whatever projects he wants to do or not do for whatever reasons he wants. I'm actually curious given the 50/50 mention below, what Seth Rogen thinks of this project, given his involvement in Alzheimer's related issues.
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6:11PM on 04/29/2016

Good.

I'm a firm advocate that anything can be made funny but this whole thing just seemed distasteful from the start. the concept has some potential but basing it off of a President is just a bad idea. Not to mention how much this project just reeks of liberal Hollywood trying to go after a right wing President. Here's hoping it never gets made.
I'm a firm advocate that anything can be made funny but this whole thing just seemed distasteful from the start. the concept has some potential but basing it off of a President is just a bad idea. Not to mention how much this project just reeks of liberal Hollywood trying to go after a right wing President. Here's hoping it never gets made.
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7:34PM on 04/29/2016
You're exactly right, and these blue-pilled liberal idiots giving you the thumbs down are cucking the country away.
You're exactly right, and these blue-pilled liberal idiots giving you the thumbs down are cucking the country away.
5:49PM on 04/29/2016
Yeah, I'd want to see the script before passing judgement. I have trouble seeing how that high concept *isn't* horribly offensive, but I'd want to reserve judgment until I actually know the tone of the story. Hell, Funny People AND 50/50 were both comedies about cancer, but the tone in those films fits the subject matter.
Yeah, I'd want to see the script before passing judgement. I have trouble seeing how that high concept *isn't* horribly offensive, but I'd want to reserve judgment until I actually know the tone of the story. Hell, Funny People AND 50/50 were both comedies about cancer, but the tone in those films fits the subject matter.
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10:16PM on 04/29/2016
I think the difference is that those films were about fictional people (or at least people that no one knew). This was a movie about a famous person who actually had the disease and made fun of it (if not him). It was also being made by anti-Reagan individuals staring an anti-Conservative individual.

That seems like it has a high probability of being offensive.
I think the difference is that those films were about fictional people (or at least people that no one knew). This was a movie about a famous person who actually had the disease and made fun of it (if not him). It was also being made by anti-Reagan individuals staring an anti-Conservative individual.

That seems like it has a high probability of being offensive.
5:44PM on 04/29/2016

...

I believe 50/50 is a comedy about cancer, so is Funny People of i remember correctly, but hey let's keep a stick up our ass when something isn't supposed to be taken seriously and it's a comedy
I believe 50/50 is a comedy about cancer, so is Funny People of i remember correctly, but hey let's keep a stick up our ass when something isn't supposed to be taken seriously and it's a comedy
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6:08PM on 04/29/2016
Ninja'd.
To be fair, neither of those movies has a sketchy premise, either.
Ninja'd.
To be fair, neither of those movies has a sketchy premise, either.
6:15PM on 04/29/2016
The difference is those were serious comedies that treated there subjects with respect. This films entire premise mocks a disability. If Hollywood had the balls to make a film about Reagan that actually dealt with his Alzheimers in a fashion that serious it could really be something.
The difference is those were serious comedies that treated there subjects with respect. This films entire premise mocks a disability. If Hollywood had the balls to make a film about Reagan that actually dealt with his Alzheimers in a fashion that serious it could really be something.
10:19PM on 04/29/2016
50/50 was a comedy about a person's struggles while dealing with cancer (written by the person himself). This was a film about a famous person who suffered a terrible disease, and the premise is that people around him would be mocking him and would involve comedic situations that never happened. Completely different idea.
50/50 was a comedy about a person's struggles while dealing with cancer (written by the person himself). This was a film about a famous person who suffered a terrible disease, and the premise is that people around him would be mocking him and would involve comedic situations that never happened. Completely different idea.
+1
5:43PM on 04/29/2016
It's a funny premise, but someone else mentioned this - they should have fictionalized the character - loosely basing it on Reagan and things that went on during his presidency, or no similarities to Reagan, or fictionalize another president who didn't have those alleged health problems (idk if there's any truth to RR having those mental health problems) like Clinton or someone.
It's a funny premise, but someone else mentioned this - they should have fictionalized the character - loosely basing it on Reagan and things that went on during his presidency, or no similarities to Reagan, or fictionalize another president who didn't have those alleged health problems (idk if there's any truth to RR having those mental health problems) like Clinton or someone.
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5:32PM on 04/29/2016
Don't worry leftist there will be plenty more movies released by rich millionaires that shit on republicans. Probably one in a week or two.
Don't worry leftist there will be plenty more movies released by rich millionaires that shit on republicans. Probably one in a week or two.
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7:37PM on 04/29/2016
Thumbs up.
Thumbs up.
5:31PM on 04/29/2016
God forbid we laugh at and make light of the things which drain the joy from our lives.
God forbid we laugh at and make light of the things which drain the joy from our lives.
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7:38PM on 04/29/2016
Its a hate piece on Reagan. The backlash isn't really about the disease.
Its a hate piece on Reagan. The backlash isn't really about the disease.
8:03PM on 04/29/2016
I have a feeling it's less making light of things that drain joy from our lives, and more them making fun of Reagan.
I have a feeling it's less making light of things that drain joy from our lives, and more them making fun of Reagan.
+2
5:06PM on 04/29/2016
This sort of reminds of that Me, Myself and Irene snaffoo with that chick saying skitzo in the trailer and the backlash that set off.
This sort of reminds of that Me, Myself and Irene snaffoo with that chick saying skitzo in the trailer and the backlash that set off.
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4:51PM on 04/29/2016
Wow, they didn't even have to threaten a boycott. Just two letters, and Will caved. Zero balls on this guy.
Wow, they didn't even have to threaten a boycott. Just two letters, and Will caved. Zero balls on this guy.
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7:39PM on 04/29/2016
You really think he was into the art of it?
You really think he was into the art of it?
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