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Reagans back in movies?

The former president and first lady are slated to be the subjects of a new CBS miniseries.

June 06, 2003|Greg Braxton | Times Staff Writer

Former President Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy, will be the subjects of a four-hour CBS miniseries that is planned to shoot this summer to air later this year or in early '04 that will focus on their romance and family against the background of history and politics.

The project will be produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who recently won an Oscar for the film adaptation of "Chicago." The miniseries is scheduled to begin shooting in Montreal and could air as early as November.

Judy Davis is in negotiations to star as Nancy Reagan; no other casting has been finalized, officials said. Davis won an Emmy in the title role of "Life With Judy Garland: Me & My Shadows," which was also produced by Zadan and Meron.

The two, who recently produced two other show business-based projects for CBS, "Martin and Lewis" and "Lucy," declined to comment on the miniseries.

Bela Bajaria, senior vice president of movies and miniseries for CBS, said she and the producers were talking about possible big event projects when the subject of the Reagan family came up.

"This is a story that works on so many levels," she said. "There is an amazing love story that spans four decades. It's a story that deals with war issues. There's the blended family, which brings up more possibilities for stories. And everything is taking place against the backdrop of America and politics."

She added that the film probably won't focus on Reagan's conservative politics: "This project will not take a position on his politics one way or the other. We don't expect this to be controversial. That's not really the interesting part of this. The family is what's interesting."

In addition to the former president and Nancy Reagan, the film will also feature other members of the Reagans, including children Patty, Maureen, Michael and Ron Jr. The Reagan family is not expected to be involved in the film, she added.

Robert Allan Ackerman will direct the miniseries, which is based on Carl Anthony's book "First Ladies."

Although that book was about several presidential wives, the producers chose to focus on the Reagan family for this project. A script is currently being written.

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