Ronald Reagan film?
There has been talk of a Ronald Reagan film before when his diaries were published in 2007 and Ridley Scott looking to direct one in 2008, and then this year talk of a biographical film of the President who had left an amazing legacy behind him for the world.
Now though there's a new project and it looks like it's actually happening. Robert Forster looks set to play the President in a stage play that is being said will follow the model of the previous Presidential play from the same team, Give 'Em Hell Harry, about Harry Truman.
The first we heard was back in 2007 when Ronald Reagan's own diaries were about to be published and there was talk of the rights being bought to make it into a film. Some of the quotes from those diaries were pretty eye opening and could really have made for a great political and very human film:
"Got word of Israel bombing of Iraq -- nuclear reactor. I swear I believe Armageddon is near...
...He said one particularly devastating bombing and artillery attack on western Beirut in August 1982 had led King Fahd of Saudi Arabia to call the White House "begging me to do something."
"I told him I was calling PM Begin immediately. And I did -- I was angry -- I told him it had to stop or our entire future relationship was endangered. I used the word holocaust deliberately & said the symbol of war was becoming a picture of a 7-month-old baby with its arms blown off."
The next we heard was in 2008 featuring the President was from Ridley Scott and would feature the Reykjavik Summit, when Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev met to discuss the end of the Cold War and the signing of the Nuclear Arms Treaty which started to see the reduction and decommissioning of nuclear arms on both sides.
The final one we heard of was just last year and had a title, called Reagan, as well as a script from Jonas McCord who also has Malice under his belt. He adapted it from two biographies of the man by Paul Kengor, The Crusader and God and Ronald Reagan (Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com).
So that's where we come to the story today from Deadline which tells us that Robert Forster is set to play the man on stage in a production called The Lifeguard: Ronald Reagan and His Story which will be a one man stage show written by David Rambo and produced by David Permut and Mark Travis.
Why are the producers important? Well they are following what they did with Give 'Em Hell Harry which was a one man stage show about Harry Truman. There they toured the show and then filmed a performance which they tried to sell to studios, when they weren't interested they distributed the film themselves which was nominated for an Oscar and although it only cost one hundred thousand US dollars to make, returned over ten million dollars.
So, following that template they plan to tour the show and take it to close on Broadway, there they'll film it and release it, hoping that it follows a similar track to the Truman film Give 'Em Hell Harry.
Although it's not really the Reagan film we were hoping for, it's a start and the Reagan family have been consulting on the show so it bodes well. What I really want to see though is a film from his own diaries, now that would be an epic tale of politics and personal insight to some of the most monumental moments in recent history.