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Hollywood Bringing ‘Reagan’ to the Big Screen; What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

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By Doug Powers  •  September 8, 2010 09:38 AM

**Written by Doug Powers

I thought for sure Oliver Stone would be the first to bring a film about Ronald Reagan to the big screen, but the fact that he’s not doesn’t mean the movie might not be Stone-esque in its approach to the movie:

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – The story of Ronald Reagan’s life — from boyhood to Hollywood actor to leader of the free world — is about to spill out on the big screen in a way quite different from the miniseries that caused such a stir seven years ago.

The feature film, titled “Reagan” and sporting a $30 million production budget, is set for release late next year and will be based on two best-selling biographies of the 40th U.S. president by Paul Kengor: “The Crusader” and “God and Ronald Reagan.”

Jonas McCord, who is not a Reagan fan, wrote the script. “I was of the opinion that at best he was a bad actor and at worst a clown,” McCord said.

But maybe there’s hope after all — the movie’s producer takes a more positive tone:

Hollywood’s last attempt to depict Reagan was the 2003 miniseries “The Reagans,” which starred James Brolin. It was supposed to air on CBS until a controversy erupted over alleged left-wing bias and it was relegated to sibling premium cable outlet Showtime. It was seen by 1.2 million people.

“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,” said producer Mark Joseph, who optioned the books four years ago.

As someone who was and is a huge admirer of Ronald Reagan, I’ll remain in cringe-mode indefinitely. Hollywood often manages to find a way to tarnish the memory of people they liked, let alone those they hold in lower esteem.

Obligatory: A partial casting call:

Robert Duvall as Ronald Reagan
Calista Flockhart as Nancy Reagan
Tommy Tune as Ron Reagan Jr.
Alanis Morissette as Patti Davis Reagan
Kate Beckinsale as Jane Wyman
Tom Hanks as Alexander Haig
Ed Asner as Mikhail Gorbachev
Betty White as Margaret Thatcher
Rosie O’Donnell as John Hinckley Jr.
Jodie Foster as Jodie Foster

**Written by Doug Powers

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