We’ve got a couple of casting stories to share with you this afternoon. First up, Precious director Lee Daniels continues to fill out the impressive cast for his passion project The Butler. The film tells the true story of Eugene Allen, a butler who served at the White House from 1952 to 1986. Daniels is casting a slew of stars to take small roles as the famous men and women who come through the White House over the years, and Variety reports that Jane Fonda will be taking on Nancy Reagan. Forest Whitaker is set as Allen, with Oprah Winfrey in talks to play Allen’s wife and David Oyelowo up for the role of Allen’s son.
Liam Neeson and John Cusack are apparently circling roles as Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon, respectively, and we also heard that Mila Kunis is eyeing the role of Jackie Kennedy. It’s an ambitious project, and one that’s sure to draw considerable awards buzz. I’m interested to see how Daniels pulls off the “revolving door” aspect without the cameos taking over control of the story. Daniels is directing from a script he co-wrote with Game Change writer Danny Strong. Hit the jump for casting news concerning the indie Small Time.
Today, straight out of left field, comes news from THR that the miniseries The Kennedys, will no longer air this spring on The History Channel. The network’s representative says, “Upon completion of the production of The Kennedys, History has decided not to air the 8-part miniseries on the network. While the film is produced and acted with the highest quality, after viewing the final product in its totality, we have concluded this dramatic interpretation is not a fit for the History brand.” So despite a name cast that includes Greg Kinnear (John F. Kennedy), Katie Holmes (Jackie Kennedy), Barry Pepper (Robert F. Kennedy) and Tom Wilkinson (Joe Kennedy), the series isn’t going to air on The History Channel. More details and the trailer after the jump: