Earlier this week it was reported that Will Ferrell would be portraying former US president Ronald Reagan on the big screen in a ‘comedy’ which would focus on politician's struggle with Alzheimer’s, during his final days. However a spokesperson has now confirmed Ferrell will not be starring in the film after all and he never intended to.

Will FerrellWill Ferrell will not be playing Ronald Reagan after all.

A spokesperson for Ferrell told Deadline: “The Reagan script is one of a number of scripts that had been submitted to Will Ferrell which he had considered. While it is by no means an ‘Alzheimer’s comedy,’ as has been suggested, Mr. Ferrell is not pursuing this project.”

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After news of the film broke, Reagan’s children Patti Davis and Michael Reagan both publicly voiced their objections. In an open letter to Ferrell on her website Davis wrote: “I saw the news that you intend to portray my father in the throes of Alzheimer’s for a comedy that you are also producing.”

“Perhaps you have managed to retain some ignorance about Alzheimer’s and other versions of dementia. Perhaps if you knew more, you would not find the subject humorous. I watched as fear invaded my father's eyes - this man who was never afraid of anything.”

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“For ten long years he drifted - past the memories that marked his life, past all that was familiar. And mercifully, finally past the fear.” On twitter Michael Reagan echoed his sister’s comments by writing: “Alzheimers is not a comedy to the 5 million people who are suffering with the disease, it first robs you of your mind and then it kills you.”