Will Ferrell looks set to spark controversy with the announcement that he is to portray a dementia-stricken Ronald Reagan in a new comedy movie about the former U.S. president’s second term in office.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the big-name comedy actor is set to star in Reagan, an unfilmed script project that has been looking for studio backing for a number of years. In what is billed as a “hilarious political satire” in the 2015 Black List (which ranks the most popular unfilmed scripts yearly) it concerns a White House intern in 1984 who must convince Reagan that he’s actually an actor playing the president in a movie.

Will FerrellWill Ferrell is reportedly in line to portray a dementia-stricken President Reagan in a new movie

Ferrell, who appeared as President George W. Bush in a number of TV skits and sketches for ‘Saturday Night Live’ in the past, will produce the film as well as taking up the titular role. However, it does not yet have studio financing or a director attached to it.

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Unsurprisingly, news of the potential project was greeted with outrage in many conservative quarters, with 71 year old Michael Reagan, the eldest living child of the former president and his wife Nancy, taking to Twitter in a series of posts condemning the plans.

“What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you [SIC]” he wrote on Wednesday (April 27th).

Many accused the comedy of being purely political in its motivations, while others condemned the project for humanistic reasons, having personally been moved to comment after their experiences caring for people with the neurodegenerative disease.

However, a live read-through of the script held last month at Hollywood’s Montalban Theater featuring John Cho as the intern, James Brolin as Reagan and Lena Dunham as one of the White House’s speech-writers drew a reasonably warm reception despite the criticism from conservative outlets.

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