Ronald Reagan Biopic Finds Director (Exclusive)

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Ronald Reagan

Sean McNamara, who directed 'Soul Surfer,' will helm a movie about the 40th president.

A biopic of Ronald Reagan that will take him from teenager to his presidency has found its director in Sean McNamara, who helmed 2011's Soul Surfer and recently finished The King’s Daughter with Pierce Brosnan and William Hurt.

The independent movie, dubbed Reagan, is written by Howie Klausner, who wrote Space Cowboys for Clint Eastwood in 2000.

The filmmakers have yet to cast President Reagan, but as a young man he’ll be played by David Henrie, best known as the Disney Channel star of Wizards of Waverly Place opposite Selena Gomez.

Robert Davi, best known for his work in Goonies, License to Kill and Die Hard, has signed on to play Leonid Brezhnev, who led the Soviet Union from 1964-1982.

Reagan will tell of the 40th president’s life as chronicled by a KGB agent who was assigned to follow him during the early days of the Cold War, when the future president was vehemently anti-Communist while running the Screen Actors Guild.

For McNamara, the movie holds special significance in that his first job, at age 18, was providing sound for Reagan’s inauguration ceremony in 1981.

“I literally stood 10 feet from Reagan on Inauguration Day as he addressed supporters in one of the ballrooms,” said McNamara. “He’s a fascinating character and I’m looking forward to getting his story right.”

Reagan is executive produced by Ralph Winter, the producer of several X-Men and Fantastic Four movies. The $25 million film should begin shooting early next year.

“We looked long and hard for the right director who understood the material and had a vision for the film,” said producer Mark Joseph, who also co-produced The Vessel, an upcoming film starring Martin Sheen, as well as Max Rose with Jerry Lewis.

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