Will Ferrell Backs Out Of Reagan/Alzheimer’s Film

Earlier this week Variety reported that Will Ferrell would be playing a second-term Ronald Reagan beset by the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Not anymore:

“The Reagan script is one of a number of scripts that had been submitted to Will Ferrell which he had considered,” Ferrell’s agent told The New York Post. “While it is by no means a ‘Alzheimer’s comedy’ as has been suggested, Mr. Ferrell is not pursuing this project.”

The project was criticized harshly by conservatives and disability advocates, but no one was harsher than Reagan’s own family. “This movie is cruel, not just to my father, but to the millions of people who have the disease, and the millions more who care for them and watch them suffer every day,” his daughter Patti Davis said.

  • Good for him. While not a fan of Reagan, this project is pretty tasteless.

  • Todd20036

    If it was a movie making fun of Reagan the President, I’d have been ok with it, less so if it were a movie making fun of Reagan the Alzheimers’ patient.

    • Treant

      Ditto. Reagan’s policies sucked. Making fun of Reagan is fine (or any other President, really they’re all fair game).

      Making fun of a guy with a disease…not cool.

    • AtticusP

      Agreed.

      There is NOTHING funny about Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia.

  • MBear

    I’m all for cruelty against the legacy that Reagan and his ilk unleashed on the world, but by amplifying the stigma against Alzheimers.

    • Agreed. This looked far more like a comedy regarding Alzheimer’s, and you know it would probably make Reagan look So Amazingly Patriotic in the end.

    • Missing the word: not ?

      but (not) by amplifying the stigma against Alzheimers.

  • loosevowels

    nobody likes a quitter

    • Todd20036

      Hate to disagree with you, but Sarah Palin has LOTS of fans

  • Eriq von Hagen

    The real cruelty is that he was allowed to continue in office for years while clearly suffering some form of dementia. We must hark back to the Woodrow Wilson days to understand how his spouse was able to put on a positive public face to a debilitated president. It’s really not funny, though.

    • Todd20036

      Plus Mrs. Reagan used an astrologer to run the country. Jesus Fucking Christ

      • Oscarlating Wildely

        Jesus Fucking Christ
        Always imagined that would be pretty hot sex; Judas and John thrown in for a grand ol’ time.

        • MattM

          Eh, pretty sure they came from a time before regular bathing and douching. The sex would stink.

        • kelven

          JFC won Hunky Jesus in 2011!

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKUQI9RAD60

        • Judas Peckerwood

          Did someone mention my name?

        • Christopher

          Eh, too much clothing for my tastes. 😉

          • JDS

            Better? 🙂

          • Christopher

            I just found this gem of a tattoo…

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    • That_Looks_Delicious

      I guess we should just be glad he didn’t die in office or else we would have been treated to a ‘Weekend At Bernie’s’ White House.

    • Acronym Jim

      At least both Edith was competent Woodrow retained his mental capacity. And I don’t mean that to be funny. You’re correct, Reagan should have been required to step down.

    • Ryan Conrad

      I’m sure you advocate removing all persons suffering AIDS-related dementia from their employment.

      • Eriq von Hagen

        only if they have access to nuclear codes

      • Judas Peckerwood

        Clearly that was his point. Derp!

      • Jean-Marc in Canada

        If their job gives them access to a large military infrastructure, including a nuclear arsenal? Then YES, removing them would seem a prudent thing to do.

    • Lawerence Collins

      My dad died of this horrible disease. At least a decade before he was diagnosed, I knew someone was very wrong with him. He was always losing keys, wallets, accusing people of stealing random things like water hoses. That the GOP thugs are so against the possibility of him having early demintia. That’s a disservice to Alzheimer’s sufferers.

    • See: 25th Amendment, Section 4.

  • Oscarlating Wildely

    “This movie is cruel, not just to my father” And your father was cruel, not just to my fellow Queers but to anyone who was suffering from the pandemic of AIDS. Fine to drop the film. I hope that your father rots in Hell, dear. Nothing personal.

    • Ryan Conrad

      . . . he said self-righteously as he recalled his multiple partners in bathhouses.

      • Oscarlating Wildely

        Oddly, I don’t quite recall those. Maybe I saw you as I walked by? Memory fades.

      • Judas Peckerwood

        Ah, another down-low conservative cruising the JMG comments. I’ll save you some trouble: you’re not going to score here. Try CPAC.

      • Chucktech

        Gosh, troll, you say that like it’s a bad thing…

        • Oscarlating Wildely

          Oh, pay him no mind. I seriously saw him at the bathouse. His shriveled contributions to public advancements were only bested by his shriveled contributions in pubic advancements.

  • Michael Hampton

    I think it’s cruel that these “conservatives” denied him his free speech by bullying him into backing out.

    Not really, just wanted to show the hypocrisy of those statements.

  • MonochromeMouse

    It’s disappointing that he backed out, there’s no way it wasn’t because of the backlash. hopefully the movie gets made with someone else, you never give in to bullies

  • jvc in NYC

    I suspect the supporters of this comedy are more preoccupied with their hatred of Reagan than any misconceptions about the disease and pain such a film would cause the families of those suffering from Alzheimer’s.
    Spend a day caring for somebody with Alzheimer’s and let me know what you think of such a project.

    • Mark

      I watched my grandmother go through 6 years of it. Of course, the big difference between her and all the guys I knew in SoCal that died from AIDS is that she had great care. Her family didn’t reject her. Even when it came time for a care facility – there were several from which to chose. And on the day she died, she passed peacefully. None of that can be said for the others.

      And while i agree none of it is funny – the irony of the family rearing up their ugly head to spare daddy’s sainthood is hilarious.

  • geoffalnutt

    Of all the ineptitude and outright horror of his time in office – Alzeimer’s Disease is just that…a disease. How do you make it funny? You don’t.

  • Jonathan

    I met one of his speechwriters while working in DC during the first year of his first term. Reagan already had alzheimers then. “I met with him for 5 minutes and I had no idea what he was talking about, then I realized neither did he”

  • MattM

    A fact-based, realistic portrayal of Reagan’s struggle with Alzheimer’s would actually be great. Not as a heroic bio pic, but to put an end to the myth of Reagan. To show him as the incoherent, pants-shitting mess he started becoming while in office would abolish that legacy and give him the legacy he deserves.

    • David Milley

      I suspect — but I guess we’ll never know — that this was the kind of movie this was meant to be. Not a comedy.

  • Mark

    So one person suffering from a debilitating disease is better than thousands suffering from a debilitating disease. And how about all those AIDS jokes back then? They were a dime a dozen. I sure didn’t see/hear Ronnie – or anybody in the family – speak up about THAT! Fuck you and your goody-goody two shoe daddy, Patti

    • Stev84

      Reagan’s own press secretary made jokes about AIDS

  • Anastasia Beaverhousen

    Isn’t it iRONic that he sat and watched millions die, but damn, don’t make fun him when he should have been out of office when he was out of touch.

    • Johnny Wyeknot

      I would rather see a piercing drama of the horror show that was Ronald Reagan. Not a comedy.

  • TampaZeke

    Hmm. Can’t help but notice how quickly those who are constantly OUTRAGED by “political correctness” embrace it when it suits them.

  • ETownCanuck

    I must have missed the mention where it was a comedy. Hasn’t Will Ferrell torn a page from the Jim Carrey handbook and done serious roles as well?

    • That_Looks_Delicious

      None that I can remember. But he has done some comedies that weren’t funny.

      • Judas Peckerwood

        Some?

        • TuuxKabin

          Ditto.

    • Johnny Wyeknot

      Stranger Than Fiction was a dramatic role. And well played in my humble opinion.

  • Rocco Gibraltar

    In the spirit of one million moms, I brand Ferrell a p*ssy. In deference to those who have had to deal with Alzheimer’s disease, I get it. Have personally dealt with it. It angers me that this anointed GOP God is above reproach. Fuck them. He was a bastard and worthy of satire.

  • TuuxKabin

    Good. Drop the project entirely. Nothing funny about Alzheimer’s or Will Ferrell. And I’m glad Patti had to get upsettled about this.

  • bob

    I think his performance in “Stranger than fiction” was very good. It also dealt with a man facing death and was very touching.

  • I have to admit I thought that although Reagan deserves all kinds of scorn and ridicule, this particular idea was in incredibly awful taste.

    Alzheimer’s is simply not funny. Even if many of us were pretty sure there was something cognitively wrong with Reagan ever since the attempted assassination.

  • Roy Biv

    While Ferrell is known for playing comedies, he has also done serious roles. This may have been Ferrell trying to test his dramatic chops.

  • Necessitas

    Casting an actor known for comedic roles might not have been the most prudent move.

  • BillTheCat45

    So the Reagan Cultists win again.

  • LADY MABELINE

    Fuck Ronald Ragan and his legacy.

  • rextrek1

    Reagan – who catapulted this country into what it is now – CRAP…….where there are 2 sets of Laws – one for the Rich and one for the rest of us ……

  • Ninja0980

    The people who don’t like or think it’s not PC need to shut up about this movie.
    After all, they is what they tell us to do when someone makes a racist, sexist, gay joke etc.
    Just another example of right wing hypocrisy.

  • WTR

    Instead, Will Ferrell will produce a documentary about how Ronnie and Nancy are currently being raped by demons.

  • Cherry

    I am by no means a fan of Reagan but I think this is a shitty move. If it was a serious drama, fine. But it was supposed to be a comedy? What’s next? A comedy about FDR in a wheelchair due to polio? A lighthearted comedy about the assassinations of Lincoln or JFK?

    • Chuck in NYC

      Well, maybe not feature length, but I’ve seen satires of FDR in his wheelchair and god knows how many jokes about Lincoln and JFK (Joan Rivers, for one, was hilariously un-PC about what happened in Dallas).

      If this was going to be a serious movie, Bryan Cranston would more come to mind as the lead than Will Ferrell.

      • Tor

        Except for that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

        • Oscarlating Wildely

          I for one am still waiting to find out how the rest of the parade went from Mrs. Kennedy– well, except that she’s dead and all.

  • Lawerence Collins

    Boo! Never cared for him and this movie made me start to rethink him. Now he can disappear.

  • DuaneBidoux

    I’m very thankful he backed out. It’s one thing to portray a stupid president and yet in effect mock people with alzheimers in the process.

    I’m all for a great comedy about what was surely a president who had to be one of the dumbest presidents in history (not to mention just plain mean).
    I think most people have long ago realized that the real stupidity started before his unfortunate malidie.

    But leave the Alzheimers out – that would have been a really classes act.

  • Robert Adams

    Sacred cows always make the best hamburger.

  • WIGuy

    The funniest things are those we should not be laughing about. I can see mixing humor into the message.

  • JR Buckley

    I think Will Ferrell should do a movie about people dying of AIDS, because we know that Reagan and Larry Speaks thought that was hilarious. :-/