Reagan: Dennis Quaid to Play US 40th President

Dennis Quaid will play President Ronald Reagan in the biopic expected to begin shooting in the fall.

The feature will explore Reagan’s life from boyhood through his presidency — of both the U.S. and the Screen Actors Guild.

He will be played as a young man by David Henrie, best known for his role as teen Justin Russo in the kid’s show Wizards of Waverly Place, and as an older adult by Quaid.

The film is also expected to explore Reagan’s time as governor of California, his role in the destruction of the Berlin Wall and his final days dealing with Alzheimer’s disease.

It will address John Hinckley Jr., whose obsession with actress Jodie Foster led to his attempted assassination of the Republican president in 1981.

Jon Voight also has a role in the film, which is produced by Mark Joseph, who associate-produced Max Rose, the last film to star legendary comedian Jerry Lewis.

The movie, dubbed Reagan, is executive produced by Ralph Winter, best known for the X-Men film franchise.

Joseph met with 50 of Reagan’s friends, confidantes and cabinet members, including his pastor and the surgeon who saved his life after Hinckley Jr. shot him, in order to accurately his life.

“Dennis was always our first choice. He’s one of the great actors of our time,” Joseph said.

“Reagan was a fascinating and multifaceted human being and this movie captures his humanity,” Quaid said. “We’re making a movie for Republicans and Democrats alike since Reagan transcends politics. I can’t wait to get started.”

The $21 million film will be directed by Sean McNamara, who recently directed The Miracle Season, an inspirational sports drama starring Erin Moriarty, Helen Hunt and William Hurt. He also directed Soul Surfer in 2011 and several shows for Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel.

The filmmakers are aiming for summer 2019 release for Reagan, which was written by Howie Klausner and is based on two biographies from author Paul Kengor.

Quaid, 64, is finishing the second season of Fortitude, a psychological thriller on Amazon, and he’s coming off of I Can Only Imagine, a Christian film that has earned $83 million on just a $7 million production budget.

Edwin Meese, who worked for Reagan for a few decades, including as U.S. attorney general, is an unofficial adviser on the movie.