Will Ferrell Under Fire for Ronald Reagan Movie

"Reagan" takes place at the start of the former president's second term as he began to have health struggles.
2:44 | 04/29/16

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Transcript for Will Ferrell Under Fire for Ronald Reagan Movie
Back now with funnyman will Ferrell famous for playing characters like former president George W. Bush now set to play Ronald Reagan in a new comedy but the Reagan family says there is nothing funny about it. ABC's linsey Davis is here with the story. Good morning, linsey. Reporter: Ronald Reagan's family says Alzheimer's is no joke and that watching their father slowly succumb to the disease was painful and not material for a comedy. When it comes to impersonating presidents, will Ferrell is comedian in chief. I'm entering the race for president of the United States of America. Reporter: This morning, the actor famous for mocking George W. Bush is set to take on a new presidential portrayal, Ronald Reagan. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall. Reporter: Ferrell will star in and produce "Reagan" set in 1984 when Ronald Reagan falls into dementia, the start of his second term, an ambitious intern is tasked with convincing the commander in chief that he is an actor playing the president in a movie. I think that's the real controversy here is not the film necessarily making fun of Reagan but the idea of Alzheimer's being a possible joke in the film when it's obviously a very touchy subject. Reporter: Members of Reagan's family are expressing outrage at Ferrell for turning their father's personal struggles into political satire. In an open letter to Ferrell on Thursday Reagan's daughter patty Davis wrote "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 this subject humorous" and Reagan's son Michael tweeting, what an outrage. Alzheimer's is not a joke. It kills. You should be ashamed, all of you. Even the Reagan foundation is speaking out against the film, a statement to ABC news said in part "We find it disgusting that such a film would even be considered by Mr. Ferrell or anyone else." There is no substitute for victory. Reporter: When James brolin depicted the former president known as the great communicator in the 2003 miniseries "The Reagans," the Reagan family put so much pressure on showtime they pulled it. But this time may be different. Given Ferrell's attachment the film business will get behind it and get it to the light of day if we reached out to will Ferrell. He declined to comment. While the film is about Ronald Reagan fall nothing dementia during his second term as president, he was not diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease until 1994, six years after he actually left office. So have they filmed anything yet or all just pro-production. Sounds like it's still preproduction. It is a comedy. It is a comedy but we don't know if he's making light of Alzheimer's, in what way. A lot of questions, thank you very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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