Will Ferrell is to play former US President Ronald Reagan, in upcoming comedy movie Reagan. The 48-year-old Anchorman star will also produce the movie, which is set during the “start of the then-president’s second term when he falls into dementia and an ambitious intern is tasked with convincing the commander-in-chief that he is an actor playing the president in a movie.”
The script was said to be incredibly popular when it was announced on the ‘Black List’, an annual catalog of the top unproduced scripts in Hollywood. But the news that the movie is going into production hasn’t been welcomed by Reagan’s family, who don’t think the late President’s Alzheimer’s should be the the source of comedic inspiration.
“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,” writes Reagan’s daughter Patti Davis.
“Alzheimer’s is the ultimate pirate, pillaging a person’s life and leaving an empty landscape behind,” she continues, on The Daily Beast. “It sweeps up entire families, forcing everyone to claw their way through overwhelming grief, confusion, helplessness, and anger.”
“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.”
“The only certainty with Alzheimer’s is that more will be lost and the disease will always win in the end,” she concludes. “Perhaps you would like to explain to them how this disease is suitable material for a comedy.”
Read her full open letter here