A late addition, David Banner has joined the cast of Lee Daniels' The Butler, which is currently shooting in New Orleans.
Banner will play Earl Gaines (father to Cecil Gaines, the character Forest Whitkaker plays in the film), opposite Mariah Carey who will play his wife.
Before you pull your hair out wondering why 38 year old Banner is playing 51 year old Forest Whitaker on screen, keep in mind that the film's story covers Cecil Gaines' (Eugene Allen's) life, from childhood to adulthood. So I'm assuming here that Banner as father Earl Gaines will be featured in those scenes in which Cecil is a child, not an adult.
Recall Vanessa's script review in which she stated the following:
... The opening scene, in which 8-year old Cecil is picking cotton in Georgia alongside his mother and father, is abominably shocking; it depicts the unimaginable horrors of racial injustice southern Blacks faced, well after the emancipation of slavery, working the fields in the south in the early 20th century. But, soon after, an obviously traumatized young Cecil, begins training at a young age as a “house nigger.” And, most likely, as a survival strategy – mental, emotional, and physical - he became an exceptional servant, one who took pride in his work.
“I’m really excited to be a part of this movie. The cast is absolutely astonishing and working with Mariah has been great. Lee Daniels is so amazing to work with and I thank him for choosing me for this role... This movie reminds us of what our ancestors have endured for us to have certain liberties which we have today. This movie is groundbreaking,” said Banner, music producer for the likes of Lil’ Wayne, Ludacris and Ne-Yo.
He'll also be featured in the upcoming black western, They Die By Dawn.
The Butler has a loaded cast that also includes: Oprah Winfrey, David Oyelowo, John Cusack, Alan Rickman, Jane Fonda, Melissa Leo,Liev Schreiber, Jesse Williams, Mariah Carey, Yaya DaCosta, and many more.
Music for the film will be composed by the legendary Quincy Jones.
A Laura Ziskin Production, The Butler is being produced by Pamela Oas Williams, the late Laura Ziskin, Lee Daniels, and Cassian Elwes; executive produced by Hilary Shor and Adam Merims; and co-produced by David Jacobson.
The independently-financed film is bankrolled by Follow Through Productions, Windy Hill Pictures, Salamander Media, Salloway Rubenstein Productions/Crystal City Entertainment, Earl W. Stafford, Starstream Films, Yogi Entertainment, and Inner Media Capital.
The Weinstein Company acquired USA distribution rights to the film, for a 2013 release.