Just as soon as a Ronald Reagan comedy starring Will Ferrell started to seem like it was actually coming together, it has already completely crumbled beneath its own premise. Ferrell has now officially exited the project, according to Page Six. "While [Reagan] is by no means a 'Alzheimer's comedy' as has been suggested, Mr. Ferrell is not pursuing this project," a spokesperson said of the decision.
Shortly after news of Reagan's imminent production broke earlier this week, Reagan's daughter penned an impassioned letter to the Daily Beast in criticism of the film's dementia-themed plot. "Perhaps you have managed to retain some ignorance about Alzheimer's and other versions of dementia," Patti Davis wrote on Thursday. "Perhaps if you knew more, you would not find the subject humorous."
Davis, who runs a support group for caregivers called Beyond Alzheimer's, pleaded for Ferrell to reconsider the project. "The only certainty with Alzheimer's is that more will be lost and the disease will always win in the end," she added. "Perhaps you would like to explain to them how this disease is suitable material for a comedy." According to Page Six, Ferrell's reps have not revealed whether Davis' open letter played a part in the project being abandoned.
Reagan, once a popular Black List script penned by Mike Rosalio, is said by Variety to center on the former president during his second term as he slowly slips into full-on dementia. A White House intern must then embark on the daunting process of convincing Reagan that's he actually just playing the president in a movie, a scenario which obviously wasn't met with excitement by the Reagan family.