Inside the Beltway: The ‘Reagan’ movie

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At last, some Hollywood news of interest: silver screen conservative Jon Voight is likely to take on a meaty role as a Soviet agent in “Reagan,” an upcoming $35 million independent production backed by an unapologetic, determined team of creatives, including producer Ralph Winter, a force behind the “X-Men” film series, plus Mark Joseph, a producer associated with “The Passion of the Christ” and “The Chronicles of Narnia.” Mr. Voight, 74, would play Viktor, an operative who tracked President Reagan back in the glory days.

The film portrays “the life of one of the most consequential men in American history, Ronald Wilson Reagan,” the team says. “He led a revolution for the things he believed in an ordinary man with extraordinary vision who accomplished extraordinary things.” Visit the project here: reaganfilm.com. The movie itself is based on “The Crusader” and “God and Ronald Reagan,” both written by Paul Kengor, a fellow at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University.

“Viktor is actually a character based on a number of KGB agents and Soviet analysts who we now know were tasked with keeping tabs on Reagan,” Mr. Kengor tells The Hollywood Reporter.

Tinseltown, meanwhile, has become Gipper-obsessed, but with partisan frills.

“The former U.S. president is a fairly hot commodity in Hollywood nowadays, with multiple projects in the works that will feature Reagan. ‘The Butler,’ for example, already has generated controversy for casting liberal activist Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan while Alan Rickman plays Ronald Reagan. The Weinstein Co. film is expected to open in 2013,” says Paul Bond, a correspondent for the aforementioned publication.

“‘Reykjavik’ from Participant Media will feature Michael Douglas, also a liberal activist, as Reagan. Participant has backed several politically charged movies, including Steven Spielberg’s ‘Lincoln‘ and former Vice President Al Gore’s ‘An Inconvenient Truth,’” Mr. Bond adds.

HISTORIC HOLIDAY

“Just across the way from the White House stand the two great emblems of the holiday season: a Menorah, symbolizing the Jewish festival of Hanukkah, and the National Christmas Tree, a beautiful towering blue spruce from Pennsylvania. Like the National Christmas Tree, our country is a living, growing thing planted in rich American soil. Only our devoted care can bring it to full flower. So, let this holiday season be for us a time of rededication.” (President Ronald Reagan, Dec. 23, 1981)

BUMPER PATROL

“Is it 2016 yet?”

- Bumper sticker spotted in Warren, Ohio.

THEY SAID IT

Brace for impact. Here come the 40 most “obnoxious quotes” of the year, as judged by John Hawkins, founder of Right Wing News. A sample from the motley utterances:

“It is a major crusade of mine and that is to get rid of the Star-Spangled Banner. Now I know you’re going to say I am not a true American I’m not patriotic. I don’t think patriotism has anything to do with it. The National Anthem is just absolutely monumentally un-singable. I mean there’s so much wrong with it.” (Talk radio host Bill Press)

“Seniors love getting junk mail. It’s sometimes their only way of communicating or feeling like they’re part of the real world.” (Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid)

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