Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Stay In Your Seats, There Will Be 2 Post-Credit Scenes In 'Deadpool' Stay In Your Seats, There Will Be 2 Post-Credit Scenes In 'Deadpool' New Plot Details Emerge For Claire Denis' Sci-Fi 'High Life' With Robert Pattinson New Plot Details Emerge For Claire Denis' Sci-Fi 'High Life' With Robert Pattinson Leonardo DiCaprio Reteams With 'The Revenant' Co-Writer Mark L. Smith For 'Conquest' Leonardo DiCaprio Reteams With 'The Revenant' Co-Writer Mark L. Smith For 'Conquest' Watch: First Trailer For 'Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates' With Zac Efron, Adam Devine, Anna Kendrick & Aubrey Plaza Watch: First Trailer For 'Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates' With Zac Efron, Adam Devine, Anna Kendrick & Aubrey Plaza Review: 'Deadpool' Starring Ryan Reynolds, T.J. Miller, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, And Gina Carano Review: 'Deadpool' Starring Ryan Reynolds, T.J. Miller, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, And Gina Carano How Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez Made Josh Brolin's 'No Country For Old Men' Audition Tape How Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez Made Josh Brolin's 'No Country For Old Men' Audition Tape 'MacGyver' Movie Reboot And New TV Series Pilot On The Way 'MacGyver' Movie Reboot And New TV Series Pilot On The Way Nicolas Winding Refn Clarifies Reports That He Shot 'The Neon Demon' At 60fps Nicolas Winding Refn Clarifies Reports That He Shot 'The Neon Demon' At 60fps Josh Brolin Says He's Starring With Jessica Chastain In A Movie About George Jones & Tammy Wynette Josh Brolin Says He's Starring With Jessica Chastain In A Movie About George Jones & Tammy Wynette Coen Brothers Talk 'Barton Fink' Sequel 'Old Fink' And #OscarsSoWhite Controversy Coen Brothers Talk 'Barton Fink' Sequel 'Old Fink' And #OscarsSoWhite Controversy Watch: Robert Richardson Explains Why He Took His Name Off 'World War Z' And More In 58-Minute Cinematographer Talk Watch: Robert Richardson Explains Why He Took His Name Off 'World War Z' And More In 58-Minute Cinematographer Talk Ranked: The Best Coen Brothers Characters Ranked: The Best Coen Brothers Characters First Look: Adam Driver In Jim Jarmusch's 'Paterson' First Look: Adam Driver In Jim Jarmusch's 'Paterson' HBO Now Airing 7.5-Hour 'The Godfather Epic' Featuring Unseen Footage, Cut Together Chronologically HBO Now Airing 7.5-Hour 'The Godfather Epic' Featuring Unseen Footage, Cut Together Chronologically The 20 Best Films Of 2015 The 20 Best Films Of 2015 The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 10 All-Time Best Episodes Of 'Parks And Recreation' The 10 All-Time Best Episodes Of 'Parks And Recreation' The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far Coens Say There’s “A Good Chance” That ‘Hail Caesar’ With George Clooney Will Be Next Coens Say There’s “A Good Chance” That ‘Hail Caesar’ With George Clooney Will Be Next 20 Survival Films That Will Take You Into The Abyss 20 Survival Films That Will Take You Into The Abyss

Matthew McConaughey, Terrence Howard & Cuba Gooding Jr. Circling Lee Daniels' 'The Butler'

The Playlist By Edward Davis | The Playlist May 9, 2012 at 6:45PM

Post "Precious" in 2009, the world seemed to be filmmaker Lee Daniels' oyster. The aforementioned drama had scored six Oscar nominations, won two and the gestating projects started to pile up. There was the civil rights drama "Selma," which garnered interest from Robert DeNiro, Hugh Jackman and Liam Neeson, a potential adaptation of "Miss Saigon," and Denzel Washington was attached to his project "The Butler."
2
Matthew McConaughey, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrence Howard, Lee Daniels

Post "Precious" in 2009, the world seemed to be filmmaker Lee Daniels' oyster. The aforementioned drama had scored six Oscar nominations, won two and the gestating projects started to pile up. There was the civil rights drama "Selma," which garnered interest from Robert DeNiro, Hugh Jackman and Liam Neeson, a potential adaptation of "Miss Saigon," and Denzel Washington was attached to his project "The Butler."

But after months of waiting on passion projects, Daniels switched things up and mounted an easier-to-finance thriller called "The Paperboy" starring Zac Efron, Nicole Kidman and Matthew McConaughey. It premieres in Cannes in about two weeks (it plays at the tail end of the festival, which kicks off on Tuesday).

But "The Butler" is back and picking up steam. Fans of Daniels already know that Washington is gone and replaced with Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker. Jane Fonda is set to play Nancy Reagan, Alan Rickman (not 'Paperboy' co-star John Cusak) will apparently play Ronald Reagan and Oprah Winfrey is on board as well.

Three more actors are evidently circling roles in the film, the story of The White House's butler, Eugene Allen (Whitaker), who served eight American Presidents over the course of three decades. They include "The Paperboy" co-star Matthew McConaughey, former "Iron Man" star Terrence Howard and Academy-Award-winner turned lost-in-the-woods actor Cuba Gooding Jr. (the latter two having recently appeared together in the George Lucas-produced "Red Tails").

No word on what roles the actors may play, but evidently several of the roles in the film might be smaller cameos. Danny Strong wrote the script, which Daniels rewrote. No shoot date yet, but with Cannes around the corner surely more details will surface when when film financing company IM Global attemps to sell the picture to foreign buyers. Previously discussed potential 'Butler' actors Hugh Jackman, Mila Kunis and David Oyelowo are nowhere to be found in this THR update, so presumably they are no longer in the mix.  "The Butler" will be an interesting showcase for African American talent, especially for Whitaker who seemingly hasn't had a great role since he won the Best Actor Oscar for "The Last King of Scotland." In fact, arguably his career has been on the Cuba Gooding Jr.-like B-movie decline, but hopefully he and Gooding Jr. can once again prove that they have the right stuff, given the right material.

This article is related to: Lee Daniels' The Butler , Lee Daniels, Matthew McConaughey, Terrence Howard


The Playlist

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


E-Mail Updates