Will Ferrell no longer plans to play Ronald Reagan in a satirical film about the 40th president, according to a Ferrell spokesperson in a Page Six report. News surfaced on Wednesday that the comedian would trade in his George W. Bush wig to play Reagan in a comedy focusing on the president’s later years. The plot centered around an intern whose job it was to convince the president, who suffered from Alzheimer’s, that he was in fact an actor playing the role of Commander in Chief.
News of the movie prompted an impassioned response from Reagan’s daughter, Patti Davis, who published an open letter criticizing the film’s irreverent treatment of dementia. “Perhaps you have managed to retain some ignorance about Alzheimer’s and other versions of dementia,” she wrote. “Perhaps if you knew more, you would not find the subject humorous.”
“The REAGAN script is one of a number of scripts that had been submitted to Will Ferrell which he had considered,” a spokesperson told Page Six. “While it is by no means a ‘Alzheimer’s comedy’ as has been suggested, Mr. Ferrell is not pursuing this project.” The film’s announcement came at an early stage in its development, as it still has neither financing nor a director. It remains to be seen whether the script, a favorite on Hollywood’s Black List of unproduced screenplays, will move forward with a new star.