Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
'Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens' Trailer Hits Theaters This Friday 'Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens' Trailer Hits Theaters This Friday Christian Bale Admits He Was Initially "Jealous" When Ben Affleck Was Cast As Batman Christian Bale Admits He Was Initially "Jealous" When Ben Affleck Was Cast As Batman Watch: First Trailer For Thomas Vinterberg's 'Far From The Madding Crowd' Starring Carey Mulligan Watch: First Trailer For Thomas Vinterberg's 'Far From The Madding Crowd' Starring Carey Mulligan Watch: Zac Efron Talks About His Masturbation Techniques In 'The Interview' Segment With James Franco Watch: Zac Efron Talks About His Masturbation Techniques In 'The Interview' Segment With James Franco First Look Images: Patrick Stewart As A Neo-Nazi In 'Blue Ruin' Director Jeremy Saulnier's 'Green Room' & More First Look Images: Patrick Stewart As A Neo-Nazi In 'Blue Ruin' Director Jeremy Saulnier's 'Green Room' & More Watch: Footage From "Sick," Unreleased Marilyn Manson Video, Directed By Eli Roth & Featuring Lana Del Rey Watch: Footage From "Sick," Unreleased Marilyn Manson Video, Directed By Eli Roth & Featuring Lana Del Rey R.I.P. Mike Nichols (1931-2014) R.I.P. Mike Nichols (1931-2014) Christopher Nolan Talks 'Interstellar' Twist And Enigmatic Ending Christopher Nolan Talks 'Interstellar' Twist And Enigmatic Ending Watch: Al Pacino Plays An Aging Rocker Transformed By John Lennon In First Trailer For ‘Danny Collins’ Watch: Al Pacino Plays An Aging Rocker Transformed By John Lennon In First Trailer For ‘Danny Collins’ Review: 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1' Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Philip Seymour Hoffman, And More Review: 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1' Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Philip Seymour Hoffman, And More Watch: First Trailer For 'The Age Of Adaline' Starring Blake Lively, Ellen Burstyn And Harrison Ford Watch: First Trailer For 'The Age Of Adaline' Starring Blake Lively, Ellen Burstyn And Harrison Ford Review: Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar' Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway & More Review: Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar' Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway & More Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... SXSW Review: Spierig Brothers 'Predestination'  Starring Ethan Hawke SXSW Review: Spierig Brothers 'Predestination' Starring Ethan Hawke From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

James Marsden Replaces Matthew McConaughey As JFK In Lee Daniels' 'The Butler'

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist July 20, 2012 at 5:36PM

The list of actors who have portrayed John F. Kennedy on the big and small screen over the years is eclectic to say the least. Folks as varied as Greg Kinnear, Martin Donovan, Bruce Greenwood, William Petersen and even Bruce Campbell have taken on the former president's accent and enunciation to varying degrees of success. Now, James Marsden is going to give it a whirl.
2
James Marsden JFK

The list of actors who have portrayed John F. Kennedy on the big and small screen over the years is eclectic to say the least. Folks as varied as Greg Kinnear, Martin Donovan, Bruce Greenwood, William Petersen and even Bruce Campbell have taken on the former president's accent and enunciation to varying degrees of success. Now, James Marsden is going to give it a whirl.

Originally slotted for Matthew McConaughey who left the the project last month, the role will find Marsden stepping in and joining a huge ensemble in a story that will cut a swath through American history. The film will tell the true tale of Eugene Allen, the late White House butler who served eight presidents during his tenure from 1952 to 1986. Forest Whitaker will topline the movie as Allen (with Aml Ameen now on board as the younger version of the character) with David Oyelowo as his son, Oprah Winfrey as Allen's wife, and Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard and Lenny Kravitz in undisclosed roles. Alan Rickman plays Ronald Reagan with Jane Fonda as his wife, John Cusack is Richard Nixon, Robin Williams is Dwight Eisenhower and Liam Neeson is Lyndon B. Johnson. Minka Kelly will hang off Marsden's arm (lucky guy) as Jacqueline Kennedy, with Alex Pettyfer and Colman Dingo also on board, and Vanessa Redgrave circling a role. Phew.

While McConaughey was vague on his reasons for leaving the movie, we have to say, as much as we love the actor, it almost would've been distracting to see him in the role of JFK. Marsden is a bit more low profile, and as result, may blend more easily into the part. That said, Daniels has never been the best director of actors, and there is such a large chance here for many of the characters to slip into stereotypes -- we're wary. After the hostile to reception to "The Paperboy" at Cannes, Daniels will be out to prove that he wasn't just a one hit wonder.

Production on the film kicks off in New Orleans this month. [Variety]

This article is related to: James Marsden, Lee Daniels' The Butler , casting, Matthew McConaughey


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates