Legendary screen villain Robert Davi just nabbed his next role – the veteran actor is set to play Soviet Communist leader Leonid Brezhnev in a new biopic about the early life and presidency of Ronald Reagan.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Davi joins David Henrie and Jon Voight in the $25 million independent film Reagan, penned by Space Cowboys scribe Howard Klausner. Henrie, a star of Disney Channel’s Wizards of Waverly Place, will play a teenage Reagan while Voight’s role is still unspecified.
“At this particular time with the challenges facing America and the world, I think this is a good time to tell this story,” Davi told Breitbart News in an email on Thursday. “Leonid Brezhnev was one of the toughest adversaries our country has faced and there are lessons to be learned from the way Reagan dealt with him and the Soviets. I look forward to this role.”
Davi, who is also a Breitbart News contributor, has racked up an impressive list of film and television credits over a nearly four-decade acting career. After memorable turns as Jake in the Goonies and FBI Special Agent Big Johnson in Die Hard, Davi cemented his status as a legendary screen villain by playing James Bond nemesis Franz Sanchez in 1989’s License to Kill. Most recently, the actor appeared in last year’s Expendables 3 alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, and in 2012’s The Iceman alongside Boardwalk Empire‘s Michael Shannon.
“It was important to us to have somebody with Robert’s gravitas in this key role to highlight the formidable challenge that the Soviet Union posed to Reagan and America,” producer Mark Joseph told THR.
The film will reportedly explore the life of America’s 40th president through the eyes of KGB agents assigned to monitor him even before he was president. Reagan was notorious for his anti-Communism ideology and politics.
X-Men and The Giver executive producer Ralph Winter is reportedly attached as EP, while no director has been set for the project. According to THR, Reagan is being shopped at this week’s Cannes Film Festival, where it has already sold in a number of countries.