Ronald Reagan’s a man who first became famous by starring in over fifty movies, before delivering a rousing political speech that rocketed him into the Californian Governorship (a position now held by fellow actor Arnold Schwarzenegger), and eventually landed him in The White House, where he served as the President of the United States for exactly eight years.
Reagan’s presidency was not a quiet one, and not without its share of flare and controversy; he took an extremely hard line against labour unions, ordered military actions in Grenada, and survived an assassination attempt, before going on to ignore the easing of relations between the Soviet Union and the U.S. by publicly declaring the U.S.S.R. to be an “evil empire” and ordering a massive military buildup to compete with the Russians, bombing Libya, declaring that he “knew what to do” in a hostage situation (shortly after 39 hostages had been released in Lebanon) because he “watched Rambo”, and pushed for a space-based defense project known as ‘Star Wars’; but still often ranks among the top most popular presidents of all time.
And with such a colourful past, both in and out of The White House, it should come as no surprise that Jonas McCord (The Body) is writing the script for a Reagan biopic (imaginatively titled ‘Reagan’) that’s due to be based on two of his biographies (which were written by Paul Kengor), and will flick back and forth from his early years, to his time as ‘leader of the free world’, using the 1981 assassination attempt as the film’s anchor.
Nowadays many people have a fairly skewed perception of Ronald Reagan, and view him as writer Jonas McCord first did; being “of the opinion that at best he was a bad actor, and at worst a clown”; or simply think of him as an actor turned politician, who was the American version of Margaret Thatcher, dreamt up too many speeches and policies based around films (such as Star Wars), and was President when Back to the Future first came out; something that the filmmakers are planning on changing.
One of the movie’s producers has been vocal about avoiding the mistakes of the 2003 mini-series; that attempted to document Reagan’s life, but was mired by political bias, deemed to be “insulting” to his memory, and ended up quickly pushed off the U.S. networks; because as he said “Americans love this man.”
As of yet there’s no release date set, but the producers (who have now created a production company known as Rawhide Pictures in homage to the Secret Service code name for Reagan) are currently in the final round of funding for the film, mulling over two different distribution offers, and shopping for both a director to film the movie, and a male lead capable of conveying Reagan’s presence onscreen.