By Vanessa Martinez
Shadow and act
We’ve been posting new developments as they come regarding Lee Daniels’ long-awaited upcoming production The Butler.
See Tambay’s post around a week ago, in which Forest Whitaker revealed plot details plus new details about his post-The Butler projects. We also told you Oprah Winfrey was “in talks” to star as the wife of Eugene Allen, played by Whitaker, the real-life butler who worked in the White House for many years and served many presidents.
Now Oprah is definitely a go! This will be her first starring role in the big screen since Jonathan Demme’s 1998’s Beloved, which Oprah produced and starred in. Daniels told USA Today that he wrote the role specifically for Oprah, and that she, “was looking for something and we’re friendly and we were just trying to figure out the right thing.”
When asked how he prepared to direct her, he jokingly answered, “I don’t know. Quietly; she’s not producing this, she’s an actor on this one.”
Daniels says that he’s proud of the project, and considers The Butler, “a black version of Forrest Gump.”
The script is said to be done. Jane Fonda is slated to play Nancy Reagan, John Cusack is rumored as Richard Nixon and Liam Neeson also rumored as Lyndon B. Johnson.
Exciting news; I look forward to what Oprah brings to the table this time. I was disappointed by the commercial and somewhat critical failure of Beloved, which IMHO is a very underrated film.