Nicolas Cage Wanted for Ronald Reagan Biopic
Back in April, we reported that Will Ferrell had agreed to star in and produce Reagan, where the actor was to play U.S. President Ronald Reagan as he slips into dementia during his second term in the Oval Office. While we never heard any further updates on that project, Will Ferrell dropped out after the late President's daughter Patti Davis called complained, calling Ferrell's decision to appear a "heartless move". While that project seems to be dead in the water, today we have word that Nicolas Cage may play Ronald Reagan in a much different movie about the former 80s President.
Page Six reports that Nicolas Cage has been offered the lead role of Ronald Reagan in a currently untitled project that will, "show the conservative president in a flattering light, infuriating the liberal Hollywood crowd." This report didn't have any further details on this project, but they did reach out to Nicolas Cage's publicist, who would only say that, "It's way too early in the development process."
It's possible that this could be the same Ronald Reagan biopic that has been in development for the past six years. Back in 2010, we reported that a project also entitled Reagan, which was set up long before the Will Ferrell project, will be based on two best-selling biographies of the 40th U.S. president by Paul Kengor, entitled "The Crusader" and "God and Ronald Reagan." The adaptation was slated to begin with the 1981 assassination attempt and tells Reagan's story through flashbacks and flash-forwards.
Reagan's childhood is described as "a surreal Norman Rockwell painting with his alcoholic Catholic father, devout Christian mother, Catholic brother and ever-changing boarders the family took in". Producer Mark Joseph optioned the books back in 2006, with Jonas McCord writing the screenplay adaptation. Sean McNamara (Spare Parts, Soul Surfer) came aboard to direct this project back in August, with Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa signing on to play Japanese prime minister Yasuhiro Nakasone, Jon Voight playing U.S. Secretary of State George P. Schultz and Robert Davi playing Leonid Brezhnev, the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
We don't know for sure if Nicolas Cage was offered a role in director Sean McNamara's Reagan, especially since the actor's publicist stated the film was "too early in the development process," when it seems this film is finally moving forward after years of development. However, the plot for Reagan does match up with this report. Nicolas Cage has had a busy year, starring in The Truth alongside Elijah Wood, Dog Eat Dog with Willem Dafoe, Snowden with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage with Tom Sizemore. He will next be seen in director Steven C. Miller's Arsenal alongside John Cusack and Adrian Grenier, which hits theaters January 6, 2017.