After spending years imitating President George W. Bush on Saturday Night Live and on Broadway, Will Ferrell will be taking on another President. The actor has signed on to star in and produce Reagan, where he’ll play U.S. President Ronald Reagan. The script by Mike Rosolio landed on The Black List last year as one of the best unproduced screenplays.
The story is described as a “hilarious political satire” by Variety, following Ronald Reagan as he falls into dementia at the start of his second term, when an ambitious intern is tasked with convincing the commander in chief that he is an actor playing the president in a movie. The script got so much buzz on The Black List that the company put on a live reading in Hollywood last month, with James Brolin reading the title role. The rest of the cast for that one-night-only live read included John Cho, Lena Dunham, Nathan Fillion, Dennis Haysbert, Erinn Hayes, John Michael Higgins, Zachary Knighton, Chris Parnell and Paul Scheer, with Cooper Thornton serving as the narrator.
Will Ferrell is also producing through his Gary Sanchez Productions company, which he runs with Adam McKay. The project doesn’t currently have a director in place at this time, but it will be shopped around to studios very soon. It isn’t clear when production will begin, but with Will Ferrell attached to star, this project could move forward very quickly.
Reagan marks Mike Rosolio’s feature writing debut, although he has previously written for the TV series Lemmings and Sean Saves the World. He has also written and acted in a number of short films before breaking through with Reagan, which was the eighth highest-rated script on the Black List last year. The script came in just behind other movies that are currently in development such as Bubbles, about Michael Jackson’s chimp, and the Boston Marathon bombing movie Stronger, which has Jake Gyllenhaal attached to star.
Will Ferrell played George W. Bush on NBC’s Saturday Night Live throughout his Presidency, and later used that same iconic impression in the Broadway play You’re Welcome America. He also played a political candidate in the 2012 comedy The Campaign, alongside Zach Galifianakis. The comedian most recently starred in Daddy’s Home alongside Mark Wahlberg, who will both return for the sequel Daddy’s Home 2.