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Oprah Winfrey "Eyeing" Role In Lee Daniels' White House Drama "The Butler" (David Oyelowo Wanted For Lead)

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by Tambay A. Obenson
February 15, 2012 9:16 PM
8 Comments
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She did say she was committed to returning to acting, and was talking to directors like Tyler Perry, Jonathan Demme and Lee Daniels, so this shouldn't be a surprise. She was bound to appear in one of their films sooner or later.

On the heels of news earlier today that she might be replacing the late Whitney Houston in the sequel to Waiting To Exhale, Oprah Winfrey is reportedly "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 is 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.

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

Recall it was rumored that Denzel Washington was Daniels' man for the starring role as the butler, but word is 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).

Oprah Winfrey would play the butler Eugene Allen’s wife (I'm guessing the *older* version of his wife in the film, since she certainly wouldn't be playing David Oyelowo'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.

Stay tuned...

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8 Comments

  • Donella | February 16, 2012 1:12 PMReply

    I'm glad to see Oprah return to acting. But I hope she continues to produce, as well.

  • Colored | February 16, 2012 11:49 AMReply

    The story to me is less Oprah and more David Oyelowo. He did The Help and now this which we might as well call The Helper. I need to see him stay in the big budget White world of movies like Rise of the Planet, and in the best Black indies like he is doing with Ava DuVernay. I need to see him step away from Lee Danieks and walk over to Dee Ress. He needs to stay away from the maids, servants, etc. I need him to make good choices so he can be our Sidney.

  • K | February 16, 2012 4:37 PM

    I Agree!

  • CT | February 16, 2012 3:07 PM

    Real talk!

  • get these nets | February 16, 2012 1:58 AMReply

    desmond pfifer..

  • Colored | February 16, 2012 11:50 AM

    I remember that. Talk about coonery! How'd that ever make it on air!!!

  • S5 | February 15, 2012 10:29 PMReply

    Maids, butlers, coons. It's like it's 1930 not 2012. But this is Lee Daniels. Coonery is his craft. When will Black folks wake up and stop supporting this degrading trash?

  • Anton | February 16, 2012 3:30 AM

    I agree. Armond White accurately labelled Daniels as a "pathology pimp." Daniels have often equated smut to art, so I have no doubt this film will continue in that tradition.

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