Ready For Reagan: The Movie?

A new biopic’s in the works

Given that he was one of the most iconic American presidents, a man who began his career in showbiz and ended up in the White House, it’s no surprise that someone thinks the story of Ronald Reagan’s life is worth shoving on the big screen. Producers Mark Joseph and Ralph Winter are ready to make it work, with Jonas McCord writing a script.

The film, currently titled just Reagan, is being based on two biographies of the man written by Paul Kengor, and plans to follow his life from a young age to his presidential career. It’ll flick back and forth in time, anchored around the 1981 assassination attempt that saw John Hinckley Jr shoot at the president in the hopes it would attract the attention of Jodie Foster.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, McCord, who has worked on films like The Body and Malice, didn’t exactly have the best impression of Reagan before he started researching his life: "I was of the opinion that at best he was a bad actor and at worst a clown.” And afterwards? According to him, the young Reagan’s existence was “a surreal Norman Rockwell painting with his alcoholic Catholic father, devout Christian mother, Catholic brother and ever-changing boarders the family took in.”

But not everyone’s a fan of the controversial leader: the last time someone brought the man’s life to a screen, it was with 2003 miniseries The Reagans, with James Brolin as the man himself. Mired in controversy about political bias, it ended up shuffled off US network TV to Showtime.

"Only in Hollywood could you make an insulting, condescending movie about a much-loved historical figure, hire an actor who loathes the man, watch it flop and then somehow conclude that Americans don't want to see a movie about him," producer Joseph says. "I watched Americans line up and wait for 10 hours for the simple privilege of passing by his closed casket. They love this man."

There’s no word on who will play Reagan, and the producers are now looking for a director.