Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Not So Fantastic First Reviews Arrive For 'Fantastic Four' Not So Fantastic First Reviews Arrive For 'Fantastic Four' Harmony Korine Says 'The Trap' With Robert Pattinson Is A “Super Propulsive, Pretty Highly Violent Revenge Movie” Harmony Korine Says 'The Trap' With Robert Pattinson Is A “Super Propulsive, Pretty Highly Violent Revenge Movie” Eddie Redmayne & Alicia Vikander Feature In Beautiful First Posters For Transgender Drama ‘The Danish Girl’ Eddie Redmayne & Alicia Vikander Feature In Beautiful First Posters For Transgender Drama ‘The Danish Girl’ New Images Of Kristen Stewart In Stoner Comedy 'American Ultra' And Sci-Fi 'Equals' New Images Of Kristen Stewart In Stoner Comedy 'American Ultra' And Sci-Fi 'Equals' Watch: First Trailer For Serial Killer Thriller 'Solace' Starring Anthony Hopkins And Colin Farrell Watch: First Trailer For Serial Killer Thriller 'Solace' Starring Anthony Hopkins And Colin Farrell Watch: Full Length 'Making Batman Begins' Doc, Christopher Nolan Talks Legacy Of Film On 10th Anniversary Watch: Full Length 'Making Batman Begins' Doc, Christopher Nolan Talks Legacy Of Film On 10th Anniversary ‘Game Of Thrones’ Will Probably End After Season 8, But HBO Is Open To Prequels & More ‘Game Of Thrones’ Will Probably End After Season 8, But HBO Is Open To Prequels & More Relativity Puts 'Jane Got A Gun' And More Up For Sale As They Fight Off Bankruptcy Relativity Puts 'Jane Got A Gun' And More Up For Sale As They Fight Off Bankruptcy Zack Snyder Says Batman Has A "Crisis Of Conscience" In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Plus New Pics Zack Snyder Says Batman Has A "Crisis Of Conscience" In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Plus New Pics Venice 2015 Line-Up: 'Equals' With Kristen Stewart, 'Beasts Of No Nation,' 'The Danish Girl,' More Venice 2015 Line-Up: 'Equals' With Kristen Stewart, 'Beasts Of No Nation,' 'The Danish Girl,' More Watch: 4-Minute Tribute To Lars von Trier's Masterful Film Work Watch: 4-Minute Tribute To Lars von Trier's Masterful Film Work New 'Deadpool' Images, Ryan Reynolds Distances Himself From 'X-Men: Origins' New 'Deadpool' Images, Ryan Reynolds Distances Himself From 'X-Men: Origins' TIFF Images: Emma Watson In 'Colonia,' Brie Larson In 'Room,' Charlie Kaufman's 'Anomalisa' And More TIFF Images: Emma Watson In 'Colonia,' Brie Larson In 'Room,' Charlie Kaufman's 'Anomalisa' And More The 10 Best And 5 Worst Tom Cruise Performances The 10 Best And 5 Worst Tom Cruise Performances The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far 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 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki

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