Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: Misty Copeland Series 'I Will What I Want' Directed by Sheldon Candis ('Luv') Watch: Misty Copeland Series 'I Will What I Want' Directed by Sheldon Candis ('Luv') OWN Will Explore One of America's Most Exclusive & Historically Significant African American Beach Communities in 'Sag Harbor' OWN Will Explore One of America's Most Exclusive & Historically Significant African American Beach Communities in 'Sag Harbor' Teaser for 'Jurassic World' (4th Movie in Mega Franchise) Surfaces Teaser for 'Jurassic World' (4th Movie in Mega Franchise) Surfaces Watch Trailer For Controversial Artist Kara Walker’s Film ‘An Audience’ Watch Trailer For Controversial Artist Kara Walker’s Film ‘An Audience’ Interview: Head Writer Robin Thede on How 'The Nightly Show w/Larry Wilmore' Provides What Late Night TV is Missing Interview: Head Writer Robin Thede on How 'The Nightly Show w/Larry Wilmore' Provides What Late Night TV is Missing Watch Trailer for 'Storms of Carnage: The Black Panther Unleashed Part 2' (A Fan-Made Film) Watch Trailer for 'Storms of Carnage: The Black Panther Unleashed Part 2' (A Fan-Made Film) Rumorville - This Actor Just May Be in Contention to Play Apocalypse in 'X-Men: Apocalypse' Rumorville - This Actor Just May Be in Contention to Play Apocalypse in 'X-Men: Apocalypse' 'The Queen Latifah Show' Has Been Canceled After 2 Seasons 'The Queen Latifah Show' Has Been Canceled After 2 Seasons Watch Uncomfortable Interview Bill Cosby Gave to AP on Rape Allegations Watch Uncomfortable Interview Bill Cosby Gave to AP on Rape Allegations  Toni Morrison Breaks Down Race as a Social Construct to Stephen Colbert Toni Morrison Breaks Down Race as a Social Construct to Stephen Colbert Viola Davis, Phylicia Rashad, Laurence Fishburne Will Celebrate August Wilson in PBS Special Viola Davis, Phylicia Rashad, Laurence Fishburne Will Celebrate August Wilson in PBS Special Review: 'Seasons of Love' Might Be Yet Another Train Wreck of a Ratings Bonanza for Lifetime Review: 'Seasons of Love' Might Be Yet Another Train Wreck of a Ratings Bonanza for Lifetime White People Don't Get It Because They Never Had to White People Don't Get It Because They Never Had to Taraji P. Henson Executive Produces Indie ‘Seasons of Love’ (Appears Alongside Gladys Knight, LeToya Luckett) Taraji P. Henson Executive Produces Indie ‘Seasons of Love’ (Appears Alongside Gladys Knight, LeToya Luckett) Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Forest Whitaker In Negotiations To Headline Lee Daniels' "The Butler" (Oprah Winfrey, David Oyelowo Also In)

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act March 6, 2012 at 7:05PM

Last I wrote about this project a couple of weeks ago, Oprah Winfrey was said to be eyeing a role in director Lee Daniels' The Butler, to be produced by Laura Ziskin (Pretty Woman, As Good As It Gets, Spider-Man 1, 2 & 3) - the drama based on Eugene Allen, an African American who worked as a butler in the White House for over 34 years, serving 8 presidents from 1952 to 1986.
47
Forest

Last I wrote about this project a couple of weeks ago, Oprah Winfrey was said to be eyeing a role in director Lee Daniels' The Butler, to be produced by Laura Ziskin (Pretty WomanAs Good As It GetsSpider-Man 12 & 3) - the drama based on Eugene Allen, an African American who worked as a butler in the White House for over 34 years, serving 8 presidents from 1952 to 1986.

Also... Recall it was rumored that Denzel Washington was Daniels' man for the starring role as the butler, but word has been that he wants David Oyelowo instead (who is also attached to star as MLK in Daniels' in Limbo project Selma, and will appear in Daniels' recently-completed thriller The Paperboy).

First announced in mid-2010 as a Sony Pictures project, The Butler is now being financed independently, and Daniels has reportedly been busy "putting together a top-notch cast."

And adding to that "top-notch" cast is Forest Whitaker, who Variety says is also now in negotiations to play the title role, as Eugene Allen, the titular butler! David Oyelowo would instead play his son in the film.

As already reported, Oprah Winfrey would play the butler, Eugene Allen’s wife.

Other actors being offered roles include Mila Kunis to play Jackie Kennedy, and John Cusack to play Richard Nixon. Hugh Jackman's name is also in the mix, but no word on what character he'd play.

Allen started at the White House as a “pantry man” in 1952 when blacks weren’t allowed to use public restrooms in his native Virginia. He ended up serving eight presidents, and had a unique front row seat, as political and racial history was being made, from the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement, to the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr., President John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy Jr.

The film is based on a series of articles written on Allen by Wil Haygood.

If financing comes together for this (based on this cast thus far, as well as the producer names, I'd be surprised if it didn't eventually) this could be one of those films that's buzzed about during awards season, during whatever year it's released.

Stay tuned...

This article is related to: Forest Whitaker, David Oyelowo


Shadow & ActNewsletter