Ronald Reagan Movie Headed to Lebanon

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The distribution deal comes a month after a similar one for Latin American markets

A biopic about Ronald Reagan is headed to Lebanon, scene of one of the more anguishing events of his presidency.

In a deal set to be announced Thursday, Falcon Films has bought Lebanese distribution rights to the upcoming independent feature film, dubbed Reagan and based on a couple of best-selling books by Paul Kengor.

The deal follows a similar arrangement announced last month at AFM that gave Sun Distribution Group rights to bring the film to dozens of Latin American countries.

The deals for Latin America and Lebanon were both arranged by U.K.-based Manifest Film Sales for an undisclosed amount of money.

More than 30 years ago, Reagan pulled troops from Lebanon after a terrorist group called Islamic Jihad Organization used bombs hidden in trucks to kill 299 American and French Soldiers in Beirut in 1983. The 40th U.S. president responded months later by withdrawing troops from Lebanon, then shelling enemy outposts east of Beiruit. Some Lebanese referred to the 300 shells delivered by the USS New Jersey as "flying Volkswagens."

"We are certain many people in Lebanon will welcome the return of Reagan in this fashion," said Rami Sannan, managing director of Falcon Films.

The Beirut incident is, in fact, included in the movie, insiders say. The film will tell the story of Reagan from boyhood through his presidency, primarily through the eyes of a KGB agent. The character is based on a composite of Communist operatives from the former Soviet Union whose jobs were to keep track of Reagan, starting with when he was becoming a prominent actor in Hollywood.

The Reagan script was written by Howard Klausner, who wrote Space Cowboys, and the movie is produced by Mark Joseph, who is also co-producing Tolkien & LewisThe executive producer is Ralph Winter, who executive produced The Giver and produced several X-Men movies.