More than a decade ago, CBS wound up not airing its much ballyhooed Reagan miniseries after the project raised eyebrows in various quarters for such elements as the casting of Barbara Streisand’s husband James Brolin as Ronald Reagan (Judy Davis played Nancy Reagan).
More recently, this past April the hue and cry went up when reports surfaced that Will Ferrell, who played George W. Bush on Saturday Night Live and on Broadway, might be playing Reagan on the big screen in an adaptation of The Black List Reagan script from Mike Rosolio. The 40th President’s son Michael Reagan and daughter Patti Davis both expressed outrage over the project. Announced in December in the 11th edition of the most-liked un-produced screenplays, Rosolio’s Reagan is set at the end of 1984 when Reagan had just been re-elected in a landslide. In the script, he is suffering from dementia, and an intern, who’s hoping to move up, is tasked with trying to convince the former SAG leader he is in a movie in which he is playing the President.
Michael Reagan tweeted, “#Alzheimers is not a comedy to the 5 million people who are suffering with the decease, it first robs you of your mind and then it kills you.”
Among those who blasted Bill O’Reilly’s book, USA Today called it a “misfire” in that it “deals more with Reagan’s gradual descent into dementia, the result of his fight with Alzheimer’s disease” and “asserts Reagan exhibited signs of the illness during his presidency.” The book also has been dinged for delving into Reagan’s affairs in Hollywood, parenting, and disputes with Nancy.