Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
David Fincher Says He Shouldn't Have Directed 'The Game,' Dislikes Superhero Movies & Talks "Crazy" '20,000 Leagues' David Fincher Says He Shouldn't Have Directed 'The Game,' Dislikes Superhero Movies & Talks "Crazy" '20,000 Leagues' Matt Damon & Paul Greengrass Are Returning To The 'Bourne' Series Matt Damon & Paul Greengrass Are Returning To The 'Bourne' Series First Look: Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt In 'By The Sea' First Look: Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt In 'By The Sea' The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival David Fincher Says Differences Over Casting And Disney's Corporate Culture Stalled '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' David Fincher Says Differences Over Casting And Disney's Corporate Culture Stalled '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' Review: 'No Good Deed' Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson Review: 'No Good Deed' Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson Watch: Shailene Woodley Gets NSFW In 2 Clips From 'White Bird In A Blizzard' Plus New Pics Watch: Shailene Woodley Gets NSFW In 2 Clips From 'White Bird In A Blizzard' Plus New Pics TIFF Review: 'Cake' Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington & More TIFF Review: 'Cake' Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington & More Watch: First Trailer For Rom-Com 'Playing It Cool' With Chris Evans, Michelle Monaghan, Aubrey Plaza & More Watch: First Trailer For Rom-Com 'Playing It Cool' With Chris Evans, Michelle Monaghan, Aubrey Plaza & More Watch: First Trailer For ‘Serena’ Starring Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper Watch: First Trailer For ‘Serena’ Starring Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper First Look: Matthew McConaughey & Ken Watanabe In Gus Van Sant’s ‘Sea Of Trees’ First Look: Matthew McConaughey & Ken Watanabe In Gus Van Sant’s ‘Sea Of Trees’ Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made Revisiting On The Rise: Where Are Our 2012 Picks Now? Revisiting On The Rise: Where Are Our 2012 Picks Now? Fall TV Preview: Our 22 Most Anticipated Shows For The Rest Of 2014 Fall TV Preview: Our 22 Most Anticipated Shows For The Rest Of 2014 TIFF Review: 'Still Alice' Starring Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin & Kate Bosworth TIFF Review: 'Still Alice' Starring Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin & Kate Bosworth 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... The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes

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