‘Reagan’ Biopic Resumes Production, Finds its Jane Wyman

Mena Suvari joins Dennis Quaid and Penelope Ann Miller in the Sean McNamara-directed project.


Shut down for almost two weeks because of positive coronavirus results among the crew, Reagan is back in front of the cameras, and with the 40th POTUS’ first wife cast.

The Dennis Quaid-starring movie resumed production on November 5 in Oklahoma after getting the green light from medical officials. I’m told that the film directed by Sean McNamara restarted with scenes depicting the Kremlin back in the darkest days of the Cold War when it looked like the U.S. and the USSR were pitched for a military clash.

Images via Photofest, Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Reagan had shut down on October 22 after several members of the production tested positive for COVID-19. Right now, as with most of the country, the Sooner State is seeing a surge in confirmed cases, with 2,197 this weekend. That brings the total to 138,455 cases since March in a state with a population of 4 million.

In addition to all that very real and potential deadly drama, Reagan has also expanded its cast. Mena Suvari has joined the film to play the two-time SAG boss’ first wife Jane Wyman. “I am so honored to be part of such a phenomenal production,” the American Beauty star told Deadline. “Not only to have the opportunity to play such an incredible talent and icon as Jane Wyman, it is equally exciting to portray one of my favorite eras of Old Hollywood”.

Image via Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

“We are excited to have Mena join us,” McNamara said. “She brings charm, grace and class to this role and we’re excited to have her on board.”

By far the bigger star of the two back in the day, the Oscar-winning Wyman was married to Reagan from 1940-1949. Continuing her career for many years afterwards and pretty much silent on her ex, Wyman went on to star on CBS’ primetime soap Falcon Crest from 1981-1990. A 1993 one-episode stint on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman was Wyman’s last role before she died in 2007 at age 90.

Upon Reagan’s death in 2004, the much-remarried Wyman put out a statement that said “America has lost a great president and a great, kind, and gentle man.”

For the next few weeks, Oklahoma will continue to provide the backdrop for the Howard Klausner-penned Reagan, which co-stars Penelope Ann Miller as First Lady Nancy Reagan and Jon Voight as a KGB agent who focused on Reagan for four decades. However, I hear that Reagan will be moving out to the Golden State likely before the end of the year. California was where the future SAG boss and Republican got his start in Hollywood and where he served as governor from 1967-1975.

For those of you in a political frame of mind less than a week after America’s most recent election, Ronald Wilson Reagan defeated incumbent Jimmy Carter in 1980 and was president from two terms from 1981-1989. His 1984 re-election was a landslide that carried every state expect rival Walter Mondale’s home state of Minnesota.

Suvari is represented by Innovative Talent, mangers MPE and law firm Jackoway Austen.

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