Ronald Reagan. Depending on your viewpoint, our 40th president was either an American hero of the first order, a right-wing demagogue whose ill-advised policies continue to haunt us today or perhaps both at the same time. And it's that complexity that still makes him so fascinating today -- not just to average Americans, but to Hollywood as well.

Yes, get ready folks, because according to the Hollywood Reporter, Tinseltown is preparing a big screen biopic of the actor who became president. Following in the tradition of 'Nixon,' 'W.' and 'Primary Colors,' screenwriter Jonas McCord ('The Body') is currently penning a script that will start with the failed 1981 assassination attempt and use flashbacks and flash-forwards to tell the story of Reagan's ascent from small town boy to movie star to president.

That's not to say that the new Reagan movie, which is being developed by producer Mark Joseph ('The Passion of the Christ') for release next year, will have the same kind of snarky political slant as those earlier presidential screeds; while McCord has made no secret of his disdain for Reagan's political record, saying, "I was of the opinion that at best he was a bad actor and at worst a clown," Joseph has a different take on things.

Ronald Reagan. Depending on your viewpoint, our 40th president was either an American hero of the first order, a right-wing demagogue whose ill-advised policies continue to haunt us today or perhaps both at the same time. And it's that complexity that still makes him so fascinating today -- not just to average Americans, but to Hollywood as well.

Yes, get ready folks, because according to the Hollywood Reporter, Tinseltown is preparing a big screen biopic of the actor who became president. Following in the tradition of 'Nixon,' 'W.' and 'Primary Colors,' screenwriter Jonas McCord ('The Body') is currently penning a script that will start with the failed 1981 assassination attempt and use flashbacks and flash-forwards to tell the story of Reagan's ascent from small town boy to movie star to president.

That's not to say that the new Reagan movie, which is being developed by producer Mark Joseph ('The Passion of the Christ') for release next year, will have the same kind of snarky political slant as those earlier presidential screeds; while McCord has made no secret of his disdain for Reagan's political record, saying, "I was of the opinion that at best he was a bad actor and at worst a clown," Joseph has a different take on things.

"This is a great story. I'm just glad no one else in Hollywood thinks so, or they'd have made this film by now," he said. "I watched Americans line up and wait for ten hours for the simple privilege of passing by his closed casket. They love this man."

The question is, though, which man will they be loving? Since the film will focus at least in part of Reagan's formative years, it's possible the movie will need to cast multiple actors in the role. But as 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button' showed, CGI has developed to the point where one actor can convincingly play all ages, which throws the doors open to every actor from nine to 90.

With that in mind, here are some of our picks for who should play The Gipper. Check them out and let us know who you think the man for the job is:

Tom HanksTom Hanks Sure, they might have to use some movie magic to de-age him for those flashbacks, but is there any actor in America better suited to portray Reagan's mix of midwestern values and city slicker charm? Frankly, we think Hanks should consider playing President for real, but if that's not in the cards, at least he could play one on the big screen as Reagan.

James FrancoJames Franco When he's not playing tokers, smokers and murdering artists on 'General Hospital,' Franco is proving that he has the serious acting chops to take on just about any part, even a big ticket one like Ronald Reagan. He'd also bring a jolt of youth to the project, which could only help the demographics of a film already likely to have the retiree crowd locked up.

Jon HammJon Hamm Hamm is no stranger to period pieces, of course, thanks to his work on 'Mad Men,' but beyond his acting experience he also brings a certain square-jawed gravitas to the screen that would make him believable everywhere from the backlot to the Oval Office.

Hugh LaurieHugh Laurie Perhaps it's sacrilege to cast a foreigner as the all-American Reagan, but Laurie has alreay proven he can carry off the accent and the attitude. Like the others on our list, he has the talent to pull off the role, but he also has the look: his increasingly craggy face would be the perfect reflection of the burden the Presidency places on each of its occupants.

Joaquin PhoenixJoaquin Phoenix Sure, he's still currently playing up his hermit rapper role to the hilt for his mockumentary 'I'm Still Here,' but don't forget that just a couple short years ago Phoenix was considered one of the hottest and most dedicated actors in the business thanks to his turn as that other real-life icon of America, Johnny Cash in 'Walk the Line.' A trip to the White House may be the perfect comeback vehicle for Phoenix.

Who Should Play Ronald Reagan?
Tom Hanks3524 (32.4%)
James Franco272 (2.5%)
Jon Hamm2742 (25.2%)
Hugh Laurie1026 (9.4%)
Joaquin Phoenix894 (8.2%)
Someone else!2435 (22.4%)
CATEGORIES Movies, Coming Soon