ABOVE PHOTO: Director Lee Daniels, Oprah Winfrey, Jane Fonda (playing Nancy Reagan), and Alan Rickman (Ronald Reagan) on the set of ‘The Butler.’
Moviegoers in the States will get a chance to see Lee Daniels’ upcoming film The Butler courtesy of The Weinstein Co., which just picked up U.S. distribution rights.
Written by Daniels and Danny Strong, who earned an Emmy on Sunday for his “Game Change,” the story is inspired by Wil Haygood’s Washington Post article about a black man who served as White House butler to eight presidents over three decades.
With Forest Whitaker in the title role and Oprah Winfrey playing his wife, “The Butler” chronicles the dramatic changes that swept American society from the civil rights movement to Vietnam and beyond and how those changes affected a man’s life and family.
“What moves me most about this man is his quiet nature, grace and unmatched perspective that comes from being in one place — a very powerful one — during what was arguably the period in American history that saw the most change,” said Daniels, whose most recent film The Paperboy premiered at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, screened in Toronto this month and will be featured at the New York Film Festival.
The film is currently shooting in New Orleans with co-stars Mariah Carey, John Cusack, Jane Fonda, Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, Minka Kelly, Lenny Kravitz, Melissa Leo, James Marsden, David Oyelowo, Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Redgrave, Alan Rickman, Liev Schreiber and Robin Williams.
“Lee tells stories in a way no one else does,” said Harvey Weinstein. “What struck me most about this story is the perspective it comes from, which in this case is the butler — a man who was a fly on the wall for decades in the world’s most powerful home. It takes an unbelievable cast like the one that’s in place to do this story justice, and we are proud to be given the chance to share this story with the world.”