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Arts and Entertainment

Will Ferrell Pulls Out Of Ronald Reagan Movie After Outrage From Family

Will Ferrell at the Zoolander 2 premiere. (Jeff Spicer/ Getty)
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On Wednesday, Variety reported that Will Ferrell would be portraying Ronald Reagan in Reagan, which he was also slated to produce. But following outcry from the Reagan family, who assumed the film would be a comedy, Ferrell has pulled out of the project.Reagan's son Michael, now president of the Reagan Legacy Foundation, tweeted:

Reagan's daughter Patti Davis wrote in a blog post:

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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. I heard his voice tremble as he stood in the living room and said, “I don’t know where I am.” 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.

"There was laughter in those years, but there was never humor," she continued. "Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have — I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either."

But here's the thing: there was little other than Ferrell's reputation as a comedian that indicated that Reagan was itself a "comedy." Additionally, a live read of the script was performed last month featuring Lena Dunham and John Cho, two comedic actors. The plot of the film, according to Variety, follows Reagan's second term, as he falls into dementia. An intern must convince the president that he is an actor playing the president in a movie. This doesn't exactly scream "serious biopic," but Ferrell's reps said it wasn't a comedy either.

A spokesman for Ferrell told Page Six, "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 ‘Alzheimer’s comedy’ as has been suggested, Mr. Ferrell is not pursuing this project."

Another source told Page Six, "It wasn’t a complete project because there was no financing, and no director attached. Will considered the movie, but ultimately decided not to do it." Ferrell's reps wouldn't confirm whether Ferrell pulled out because of the response from the Reagans. Either way, Michael is pleased with the news:

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