"The Butler" is ready to serve American audiences.
Director Lee Daniels' ("Precious") latest film has found a home, with The Weinstein Co. acquiring the historical drama for U.S. distribution. The film is based on the life of White House butler Eugene Allen, who worked for eight U.S. presidents and possessed a "unique vantage point" from which to observe radical changes in American society during his more than 30-year tenure at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Based on a 2008 Washington Post article by Wil Haygood,"The Butler" was co-scripted by Danny Strong and stars Forest Whitaker as Allen surrogate Cecil Gaines, alongside an extensive all-star cast that includes Oprah Winfrey, Mariah Carey, John Cusack (as Richard Nixon), Nelsan Ellis (Martin Luther King, Jr.), Jane Fonda (Nancy Reagan), Cuba Gooding, Jr., Terrence Howard, Minka Kelly (Jackie Kennedy), Lenny Kravitz, Melissa Leo (Mamie Eisenhower), James Marsden (John F. Kennedy), David Oyelowo, Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Redgrave, Alan Rickman (Ronald Reagan), Liev Schreiber (Lyndon B. Johnson) and Robin Williams (Dwight D. Eisenhower).
“What moves me most about this man is his quiet nature, grace and unmatched perspective that comes from being in one place – a very powerful one – during what was arguably the period in American history that saw the most change,” said Daniels in a statement.
Notably, "The Butler" is producer Laura Ziskin's ("Spider-Man," "To Die For") final film. The Hollywood veteran died of breast cancer last year at the age of 61.
Daniels' "The Paperboy" starring Nicole Kidman, Zac Efron and Matthew McConaughey premiered to mixed critical notices at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year (In Contention's Guy Lodge said it "straddles the line between trash and treat" in his review). The film is slated to play the New York Film Festival before premiering in limited release on October 5.
"The Butler" is currently in production in New Orleans. There is no release date set at this time.
Will you be seeing "The Butler"?
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