BOSTON (CBS) – Actor Will Ferrell has reportedly backed out of film that would have seen him portray former President Ronald Reagan in a so-called “dementia comedy,” a project that drew the ire of Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and others.
Baker was among the notable figures speaking out against the planned film, saying it was insensitive.
According to CBS News, Ferrell had planned to produce and star in “Reagan.” The script for the movie was named one of the year’s “most-liked” but not yet produced screenplays during an annual competition called “The Black List.”
The film would have focused on Reagan’s second term in office, when he struggled with dementia. The script tells the story of an intern given the job of convincing Reagan that he is an actor playing the part of the president, CBS News reports.
On Friday, Baker tweeted about plans for the movie, calling them “dismaying.” Gov. Baker’s mother suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.
The former president’s son, Michael Reagan, had similar thoughts on the movie plans.
Michael tweeted that “Alzheimer’s is not a comedy.”
“Reagan” did not yet have a director, and no studio had green-lighted it to start production, CBS News reported.
On Friday afternoon, a spokesman for Ferrell told the New York Post that the actor is “not pursuing this project.”
“I’m just glad that he decided not to participate in it,” Gov. Baker told WBZ NewsRadio 1030. “I don’t think there’s anything funny in Alzheimer’s. It’s a serious issue and a calamity for people who are dealing with it.”
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz reports