Great news from Hollywood

At last, a degree of sanity has come to Hollywood. A film biography of Ronald Reagan based on the work of AT contributor, and executive director of the Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College, Paul Kengor, is set to go into production, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The story of Ronald Reagan's life -- from boyhood to Hollywood actor to leader of the free world -- is about to spill out on the big screen in a way quite different from the miniseries that caused such a stir seven years ago.

The feature film, titled "
Reagan" and sporting a $30 million production budget, is set for release late next year and will be based on two best-selling biographies of the 40th U.S. president by Paul Kengor: "The Crusader" and "God and Ronald Reagan."

The people involved in the project are heavyweights:

Mark Joseph, who optioned the books four years ago, is co-producing with Ralph Winter and Jonas McCord wrote the script.

Winter's producing credits include four "X-Men" movies, two "Fantastic Four" movies and the 2001 remake of "Planet of the Apes." Joseph, a marketing and development executive, worked on "Ray," "Holes," "Because of Winn-Dixie" and "The Passion of the Christ."

McCord, whose credits include "Malice" and "The Body," said he wasn't a fan of Reagan but was drawn to the project as he researched the former president's upbringing.

The project is almost sure to be a big hit. I have not seen the inside of a movie theatre for well over a year, but will stand in line to buy tickets for this film when it is released. And I am certain there are many millions of people just like me, who are yearning to see our hero treated with respect in a Hollywood production.

It is somewhat similar to The Passion of the Christ; there is a huge audience that Hollywood forfeits out of political hatred for the American mainstream. Mel Gibson had a terrible struggle to get distribution for The Passion, and the producers of Reagan may also face such a struggle. But Hollywood may have learned its lesson from scorning The Passion. We shall see. Co=producer Joseph commented to the Hollywood Reporter:

"Only in Hollywood could you make an insulting, condescending movie about a much-loved historical figure, hire an actor who loathes the man, watch it flop and then somehow conclude that Americans don't want to see a movie about him," Joseph said. "I watched Americans line up and wait for 10 hours for the simple privilege of passing by his closed casket. They love this man."

Joseph is referring to the CBS-produced hit piece biopic on Reagan starring James Brolin, which aired on Showtime after protests caused CBS to shelve airing it on the free network. For the record, Brolin claims he doesn't hate Reagan.