Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon & Leslie Jones To Lead Paul Feig's 'Ghostbusters' Reboot Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon & Leslie Jones To Lead Paul Feig's 'Ghostbusters' Reboot Harvey Weinstein Explains What Happened With 'Grace Of Monaco,' Says He Was Right About 'Snowpiercer' Harvey Weinstein Explains What Happened With 'Grace Of Monaco,' Says He Was Right About 'Snowpiercer' Harvey Weinstein Says Quentin Tarantino Has Changed The Last Chapter Of 'The Hateful Eight' Harvey Weinstein Says Quentin Tarantino Has Changed The Last Chapter Of 'The Hateful Eight' Sundance Review: ‘Slow West’ Starring Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee & Ben Mendelsohn Sundance Review: ‘Slow West’ Starring Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee & Ben Mendelsohn Sundance: Keanu Reeves Opens The Door To Trouble In Teaser Trailer For Eli Roth's 'Knock Knock' Sundance: Keanu Reeves Opens The Door To Trouble In Teaser Trailer For Eli Roth's 'Knock Knock' Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' The 10 Best Films Of 2004 The 10 Best Films Of 2004 'Death Proof' Star Zoe Bell Leads Latest Additions To Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' As Filming Begins 'Death Proof' Star Zoe Bell Leads Latest Additions To Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' As Filming Begins Ranked From Best To Worst: Every Sundance Dramatic Grand Jury Prize Winner Ranked From Best To Worst: Every Sundance Dramatic Grand Jury Prize Winner Watch: 'Saturday Night Live' Sketch 'Fanatic' Written & Directed By Paul Thomas Anderson And Starring Ben Affleck Watch: 'Saturday Night Live' Sketch 'Fanatic' Written & Directed By Paul Thomas Anderson And Starring Ben Affleck The 10 Best Films Of 2003 The 10 Best Films Of 2003 First Look: Leonardo DiCaprio Gets Grimy In Alejandro González Iñárritu's 'The Revenant' First Look: Leonardo DiCaprio Gets Grimy In Alejandro González Iñárritu's 'The Revenant' 2015 Oscar Nominees Get The Honest Poster Treatment 2015 Oscar Nominees Get The Honest Poster Treatment "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far 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 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki Christopher Nolan Says His Howard Hughes Film Is Dead, But He'd Still Like To Do A Bond Film At Some Point Christopher Nolan Says His Howard Hughes Film Is Dead, But He'd Still Like To Do A Bond Film At Some Point

Robin Williams To Play Dwight Eisenhower In Lee Daniels' 'The Butler'

The Playlist By Ryan Gowland | The Playlist July 19, 2012 at 12:17PM

It seems that Robin Williams has learned a lesson in recent years, perhaps most particularly from the critical drubbing that the 2009 comedy(?) "Old Dogs" received, and has retreated to doing more ensemble work, notably providing a voice for the "Happy Feet" movies and playing Teddy Roosevelt in the "Night at the Museum" movies. It was only ten years ago that Williams was working with director Christopher Nolan on "Insomnia," only five years removed from his Oscar-winning performance in "Good Will Hunting." For all the tepid comedies like "RV," Williams like to remind audiences that he is, in fact, a pretty damn good actor, and his resume is sprinkled with indelible performances in films like "Dead Poets Society" and "The World According to Garp," to name a few.
2
Robin Williams Dwight Eisenhower

It seems that Robin Williams has learned a lesson in recent years, perhaps most particularly from the critical drubbing that the 2009 comedy(?) "Old Dogs" received, and has retreated to doing more ensemble work, notably providing a voice for the "Happy Feet" movies and playing Teddy Roosevelt in the "Night at the Museum" movies. It was only ten years ago that Williams was working with director Christopher Nolan on "Insomnia," only five years removed from his Oscar-winning performance in "Good Will Hunting." For all the tepid comedies like "RV," Williams like to remind audiences that he is, in fact, a pretty damn good actor, and his resume is sprinkled with indelible performances in films like "Dead Poets Society" and "The World According to Garp," to name a few. And it looks like Williams is taking a step towards getting back to some actual "acting" as he has taken a role in director Lee Daniels' upcoming ensemble drama, "The Butler."

Williams will play former President Dwight Eisenhower in the movie, which focuses on the life of White House butler Eugene Allen, who worked for eight different administrations in his three-decades-long career. Forest Whitaker is playing Allen, with Oprah Winfrey as Allen's wife and David Oyelowo as his son. Williams joins a larger ensemble of First Families, including Alan Rickman and Jane Fonda as Ronald and Nancy Reagan, John Cusack as Richard Nixon and Minka Kelly as Jacqueline Kennedy. Clearly, there are still some holes yet to fill in the cast, which will likely get sorted out soon as shooting is supposed to start shooting later this month in New Orleans.

The actor is also set confirmed to star in the comedy "The Angriest Man in Brooklyn," which we also thought was news back when we reported it in May. Back then Williams was to co-star with Mila Kunis, Peter Dinklage, Melissa Leo and James Earl Jones in a story about a stand-in doctor who mistakenly tells an obnoxious patient that he only has 90 minutes to live and must track down the man who is now wandering around the city trying to right the wrongs of his life with the time he has left. Phil Alden Robinson ("Sneakers," "Field of Dreams") was set to direct a script from Daniel Taplitz ("Red Dog"), and that's all still true. 

Williams can next be seen in the comedy "The Big Wedding" (formerly "Gently Down the Stream") from "The Bucket List" helmer Justin Zackham, which looks like it will use Williams as the "comedic relief" as the priest, but he also has the comedy-drama "Look of Love" opposite Annette Bening that looks promising, and is attached to Andy Bergman's comedy "A Film By Alan Stuart Eisner" opposite Shirley MacLaine. We're not saying that any of those roles are a lock to be considered Williams' next "Good Morning Vietnam," but they certainly look a notch above "Old Dogs."

This article is related to: Robin Williams, Lee Daniels' The Butler


The Playlist

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


E-Mail Updates