Will Ferrell won’t be playing Ronald Reagan after all

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

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. 

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

About the Author

945 Articles Published