Lee Daniels built up some clout with 2009’s Precious before blowing it with 2012’s The Paperboy. But now he has some more with his hit film Lee Daniels’ The Butler, which has grossed over $100 million domestic and could be a contender in this year’s awards race. In a recent interview with Out Magazine, Daniels says he’s going to use some of that clout on a unique action movie. The film would star Alex Pettyfer (who played a plantation overseer/rapist/murderer in the overwrought opening minutes of The Butler) as one half of an action duo. So why would an action movie starring a guy with leading man looks (if not charisma) be a risk for a studio? Because the film’s twist is also the hook.
Hit the jump for what Daniels had to say about his planned project.
It’s weird putting up a spoiler warning when Daniels is the one who revealing the “twist” ending, but if you don’t want to know how his hypothetical picture ends, stop reading.
Daniels tells Out [via The Film Stage] that Pettyfer’s character would be one half of an interracial gay couple, but “we don’t find out they’re gay until the end of the movie.” It sounds like a twist that may have been powerful twenty years ago, but the way Daniels puts it, the reveal seems incredibly lame, and an attempt at outdated shock value. “Look! The people you were rooting for this whole time are actually gay lovers! Deal with that, America!” The riskier move would be to have them be openly gay from the get-go rather than keep them closeted for the whole picture.
Either way, America’s still waiting for its first openly gay blockbuster action hero, but Daniels’ thinks he can be the one to make it happen. “I don’t think I’m going to have a problem now. I made a $100 million for The Butler. I’m in a rare group. So this is something I feel good about.” Confident that he can get his movie made, Daniels feels the challenge is to find a black guy to star opposite Pettyfer.