Will Ferrell to star as dementia-suffering Ronald Reagan | The Tylt
Comedian Will Ferrell, famous for impersonating George W. Bush on "Saturday Night Live," will produce and star in the motion picture Reagan. Casting Ferrell as Reagan irked Gipper fans. Then details emerged that the film will be set during Reagan's second term, with the president suffering Alzheimer's-related dementia so bad a young White House intern must convince the president he is an actor in movie. CNN called the reaction an "uproar."
Conservatives, under the assumption that the film will be a comedy, raged at the idea that Reagan's illness might be the subject of ridicule. Reagan's daughter Patty already composed an open letter saying that Alzheimer's is not "suitable material for a comedy”.
While Farrell is of course known as a comic, there's no confirmation that Reagan will be a comedy. Variety reports that the film's screenplay made 2015's Black List of Hollywood’s best unproduced screenplays, and was so widely heralded that it was given a live reading in March, starring Lena Dunham and Jon Cho.
Is the idea of the film in such bad taste it's already a #WillFerrellFail? Or are critics rushing to a judgment they can't make without seeing the finished product?
Will Ferrell to star as dementia-suffering Ronald Reagan
People who've suffered through Alzheimer's with loved ones see little potential for humor in the film.
Others argued that conservatives see Reagan himself as a sacred cow, not his disease.
Many argued that even having Alzheimer's and dementia adjacent to humor was in bad taste.