A Ronald Reagan Biopic is Coming to Theaters Late Next Year
by Ethan Anderton
September 8, 2010
Ronald Reagan?! The actor?! Following in the cinematic footsteps of previous U.S. presidents like Richard Nixon and George W. Bush, THR reports actor turned politician Ronald Reagan will be the subject of an upcoming biopic with an eye for a release late in 2011. Though no director or actors are currently attached, the film already has a script from writer Jonas McCord taking cues from both The Crusader and God and Ronald Reagan, two biographies from author Paul Kengor. Though it won't exactly be a glorification of the life of the Republican president, it also won't be as full of disdain as the 2003 mini-series "The Reagans."
Rather than following a linear life story, the movie will begin with the 1981 assassination attempt and tells Reagan's story through flashbacks and flash-forwards. Hopefully viewers won't be disappointed when its discovered that the Reagan presidency was actually a sort of purgatory where all the members of the Reagan family decided to reunite after succumbing to a plane crash on a desert island. But in all seriousness, the story seems to come from a very unlikely screenwriter, as McCord wasn't actually the biggest fan of Reagan. The writer explains: "I was of the opinion that at best he was a bad actor and at worst a clown."
Doesn't sound like the most respectful view of Reagan, but apparently Reagan's coming-of-age is what truly ended up fascinating McCord. He calls Reagan's upbringing "a surreal Norman Rockwell painting with his alcoholic Catholic father, devout Christian mother, Catholic brother and ever-changing boarders the family took in." Meanwhile producer Mark Joseph (who previously worked on Ray and The Passion of the Christ) has a passion for the biopic. Joseph says: "This is a great story. I'm just glad no one else in Hollywood thinks so, or they'd have made this film by now… I watched Americans line up and wait for 10 hours for the simple privilege of passing by his closed casket. They love this man." He'll work alongside X-Men's Ralph Winter.
The real question is who has the chops to bring Ronald Reagan to life? THR has a poll going that includes younger actors like Zac Efron, Andrew Garfield, James Franco, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and and Chris Pine. While I think Franco is the finest choice out of the options (he nailed James Dean in the made-for-TV film about the late actor), I'd toss Paul Dano and Emile Hirsch into the candidate list. Both have phenomenal dramatic chops and it would be great to see either of them disappear into a character like Ronald Reagan. Hopefully we'll get some more talent in front of and behind the camera soon. Who should play Reagan?
Reader Feedback - 21 Comments
Ronald Reagan was a doughnut. I'd like to see a scene with him and Maggie Thatcher kissing though. Mmmmmmm.
Crapola on Sep 8, 2010
What's up with the smarky back-handed movies on Republican presidents? Is Bill Clinton not totally worth making into a similar film? How film-worthy can a Reagan flick actually be? I mean think about it, the only people actually interested in seeing a biopic on somebody like Reagan are those who love history and/or political history (which I am). These filmmakers are obviously trying to hop on the coat tails of the Bush and Nixon films. I think a Clinton flick along the same cynical lines would be awesome. He's just SCREAMING to have a movie made about him, especially with Hillary factored in. It would just be a much more entertaining and engaging film for the masses. But I guess these true pursuers of history, who couldn't possibly have a political agenda of their own, are simply constructing a film that honestly depicts the life of one of our Presidents. Much like the completely fair and impartial depiction of GW Bush in Oliver Stone's masterpiece of film (and for the record, I hated GW Bush). Now Frost/Nixon was pretty great, but it was a totally different approach. This film looks like another W. film.
Chris H. on Sep 8, 2010
yawn...it will be a biased, leftwing, piece of trash.
Geoff on Sep 8, 2010
I'm still waiting for my Franklin Pierce biopic
Monster Mash on Sep 8, 2010
Every ticket comes with complimentary body armor! I have a friend who is bald with a birthmark in the shape of Enya and he said he'd like to see this! Ever notice how each new american Puppet er I mean president comes with its own unique Bond villain ? I don't know why everyone's so politically up set its only based on his best acting years...........oh yeah wait that's why So its LOST the reagan years, i wonder if there will be any side ways flashes And the film starts with the 1981 assassination attempt and they wanna hire Zack Efu effron!? Cluster Efron er enron er Brickwall ER! I wonder if the film will show the W's in the background salivating to make "overseas" Oil contacts like oh lets see, Like the damned terrorists who keep attacking Ugh Cough W's Yeah old Bill has film my life written all over him lets see oh he got head and oh yeah that's it oh I see you like porn! not that its bad God the whole party VS Party thing is so last century it's not the party's or the Puppets er president its the Secretary Treasury and the rest of the puppets new cabinet!
Jimmy Love on Sep 8, 2010
Chris H speaks the truth. I didn't bother with W and odds are unless I'm completely not seeing the tone this movie will have, I won't bother with this either. The irony is, how successful will it be? Probably not very. So why will anyone invest money into a stinker like this? Now make a respectful history, heck show both sides but do it respectfully, and I bet they could bring in Red Staters by the boat load. After all a Reagan movie like that is the political equivalent of The Passion of the Christ. Didn't do business in LA. But in San Antonio and Dallas? Indeed.
harm on Sep 8, 2010
We've already seen this http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0383139/ James Brolin was great. We don't need another movie.
TCox on Sep 8, 2010
I love Reagan, but I'm skeptical about this project. Modern presidential biopics are always so full of politics and bias to some degree or another that they always seem to fail. Political opponents always have to be evil or the subject himself always has to be bumbling/dishonest. And I'm confused about all the young actors mentioned--Reagan was 70 in the White House, how would Zac Efron manage that? I guess it must have a lot more story about him as a youth than that synopsis let on. Incidentally, I have read Paul Kengor's "The Crusader" and found it to be a well-researched, well-argued work of popular history. However, it was highly praiseworthy, perhaps too much so--crediting him for things he actually didn't have that much control over, and focused only on how Reagan ran the Cold War--a terrific subject, but not one that involves his coming of age or political maneuvering or anything like that. Anyway, it's interesting that Kengor's books are the ones being adapted, because he would certainly not be the most respected Reagan historian by the academia at large.
Stephen on Sep 8, 2010
I'm not an American (thank God for that), I think the Republican Party, the Tea Party, Palin, and George Beck are all the same and represent why the rest of the world are of the opinion that the USA is a backward self righteous country of assholes, but I've always liked Reagan and would love to see a biopic that centers around his presidency. For the rest of the world that exists outside the US of A, he was the right president at the right time. Too bad there hasn't been one like him since.
Sam Shadey on Sep 8, 2010
paul dano and emile hirsch?? wasnt Reagan a big guy? those actors are tiny and frail-looking
talli on Sep 8, 2010
Voice of Reason on Sep 8, 2010
Why? what the fuck did he do other than saying Star wars references
Darren on Sep 8, 2010
Reagan is the devil. He didn't take anyones money and redistribute like a good thief....umm, president, should. That was sarcasm by the way. I'm a movie buff first and a history buff second, Reagan was one of the best in my opinion. If this is a biased W. copy, I won't just pass, I'll bitch about it for eternity. But if its middle ground and based in fact, I'll catch it.
Al on Sep 8, 2010
Would rather see an FDR biopic, that guy was awesome!
Xerxex on Sep 8, 2010
I would rather see a political movie about removing the Federal Reserve Bank From Americas Shores. Yeah VOR I gotta agree with you about this movie its kinda like the facebook er um the movie about the guy who screwed his friends to get full control of er um make facebook, but not a movie about face book
Jimmy Love on Sep 8, 2010
Reagan was the f'n man! If its left wing sh!t ....I will be one mad dude!
McWilly on Sep 8, 2010
"W" was more than true and damn good......I will not see this. (even though I did do a show for him at the WH back in 1981.) I agree with Cred X on FDR and I must say Jimmy Love gets the most points for knowing who Enya is. Sam Shady gets International points in speaking alot of truth concerning some of the "Right."
Clover on Sep 8, 2010
fuck Regan, might as well do one on Hitler
DaftPUNKFAN on Sep 8, 2010
If Josh Brolin can pull off George W., why not give him a chance to follow in his pop's footsteps and play Reagan! Imagine, father and son both having played Reagan. Better yet...Josh Brolin as young Reagan and James Brolin as older Reagan.
pubkrawler on Sep 9, 2010
JUST in time for the elections.
history repeats on Sep 10, 2010
DaftPunk, Move to france u Nancy-Boy!
McWilly on Sep 11, 2010
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