Lee Daniels continues to cast up his massive, ensemble style "The Butler," and has selected Jane Fonda for the role of Nancy Reagan. The film is being set up in the same manner as his aborted "Selma," with financing still coming into place, but like that project, the director is hoping the starry cast can get the money the project needs (and without the protective nature of the Martin Luther King Jr. estate involved, it will likely be a bit easier to pull together). Based on a true story, Forest Whitaker will play Eugene Allen, a servant who worked in the White House for 34 years under eight presidents, and watched the political changes that allowed segregation to come to an end. David Oyelowo is also onboard, playing Allen's son.
A number of other actors are circling parts, including Oprah Winfrey as Allen's wife, John Cuasck as Richard Nixon and Liam Neeson as Lyndon Johnson. Some of these roles may not amount to much more than cameo appearances, and indeed, Fonda will apparently only appear in a few scenes.
We presume this bit of news will make hard right folks like Glenn Beck (or whoever) apoplectic, so their overly dramatic reactions will probably be hilarious/terrifying to watch. If everything comes together, "The Butler" will shoot this summer. [Variety]