The Weinstein Company has released the first trailer for director Lee Daniels’ (Precious, The Paperboy) historical drama The Butler. Based on a true story, the film stars Forrest Whitaker as Cecil Gaines, a butler who served at the White House from 1952 to 1986. The trailer plays up the film’s awards prospects as we see a flash of famous faces playing the many notable persons who walked the halls of the White House throughout this period (Alan Rickman is particularly striking as President Reagan), and that’s balanced with an overview of Gaines’ life in a racially tense America. While the film certainly looks like it has the potential to be powerful, cautious optimism is key whenever Lee Daniels is involved.
Hit the jump to watch the debut trailer. The film also stars Oprah Winfrey, David Oyelowo, Mariah Carey, John Cusack, Jane Fonda, Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, Minka Kelly, Lenny Kravitz, Melissa Leo, James Marsden, Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Redgrave, Liev Schreiber, and Robin Williams. The Butler opens on October 18th.
Here are the latest release dates for the following films:
- Red 2 – The Dean Parisot-directed sequel centering on ex-operatives played by Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren and John Malkovich will now open two weeks earlier on July 19th.
- Now You See Me – Louis Letterier’s magical heist film starring Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Woody Harrelson and Isla Fisher will now open a week earlier on May 31st.
- The Butler – Lee Daniels’ biopic of long-time White House butler Cecil Gaines, played by Forest Whitaker, will open October 18th.
Hit the jump for the synopses and posters for these films.
Though they don’t have a lot of screen time together, Rodrigo Santoro and Forest Whitaker play two characters on opposite sides of the law who band together to fight a common evil in The Last Stand. The Kim Jee-woon action picture sees a rag-tag bunch of sheriff’s deputies go up against a ruthless drug lord and his well-armed militia bent on crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. In a recent video interview, Santoro and Whitaker talked about their approach to playing their characters, what it was like to work with action star Arnold Schwarzenegger and teased a little about The Butler and 300: Rise of an Empire.
Also starring Johnny Knoxville, Jaimie Alexander, Luis Guzman, Eduardo Noriega, Peter Stormare and Zach Gilford, The Last Stand opens on January 18th. Hit the jump to watch our video interview with Santoro and Whitaker.
Christopher McQuarrie brings us a violent and exciting film with a great lead character in Jack Reacher. Tom Cruise plays the title character based on the series of novels by Lee Child, an ex-army cop who has gone off the grid and resurfaces to help solve a quintuple murder. He enlists the help of lawyer Helen Rodin (Rosamund Pike) who has decided to defend the prisoner, despite the overwhelming objection of her father, the D.A. (Richard Jenkins) and police detective Emerson (David Oyelowo). For more on the film, here’s six clips, over twenty images, positive early reviews, and all our previous coverage.
At the NYC press day for the film, I was able to speak to stars Rosamund Pike and David Oyelowo about how they got involved, what it was like working with legends Tom Cruise and Werner Herzog, and their future projects, including Edgar Wright’s The World’s End and Lee Daniels The Butler. Watch what they said after the jump.
The Weinstein Company has picked up distribution rights for Precious director Lee Daniels’ period drama The Butler. The film tells the true story of Eugene Allen, a butler who served at the White House from 1952 to 1986, and Daniels has filled his supporting cast with a number of familiar faces to play the notable persons who walk the halls of the White House throughout this period. The stars of the film, however, are Forrest Whitaker as Allen, Oprah Winfrey as his wife, and David Oyelowo as his son. Though one might think this is an early awards contender acquisition, Daniels’ latest film The Paperboy has been viciously panned this year so it’s with cautious optimism that I approach The Butler. The film is being readied for release sometime in 2013.
Hit the jump to read the full press release and the check out a new image of Whitaker in character. The film also stars Mariah Carey, John Cusack, Jane Fonda, Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, Minka Kelly, Lenny Kravitz, Melissa Leo, James Marsden, Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Redgrave, Alan Rickman, Live Schreiber, and Robin Williams.
Director Lee Daniels is currently at work on his period drama The Butler, and some images of his star-studded cast taking on famous historical figures are starting to trickle out. The film tells the true story of Eugene Allen, a butler who served at the White House from 1952 to 1986. Forest Whitaker plays Allen, Oprah Winfrey is set as his wife, and David Oyelowo will star as Allen’s son. Butler has cast a number of familiar faces to play the notable persons who walk the halls of the White House throughout this period, and now we have our first look at Alan Rickman and Jane Fonda as First Couple Ronald and Nancy Reagan. I wasn’t quite sure how Rickman would physically pull off Reagan, but the resemblance here is striking.
Hit the jump to take a look at not only Rickman and Fonda alongside Daniels, but also Winfrey and co-star Lenny Kravitz in old-age makeup. Click here to see James Marsden and Minka Kelly as John and Jackie Kennedy.
Direct from the ongoing shoot in New Orleans comes the first look at Forest Whitaker in costume as Eugene Allen, the man behind the title role in director Lee Daniels’ The Butler. We also have some new set photos of James Marsden and Minka Kelly in costume as John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jackie Kennedy. The ensemble drama about the life of the White House servant who looked after eight first families was based on Wil Haygood’s 2008 Washington Post article about Allen. The picture also stars Oprah Winfrey, David Oyelowo, John Cusack, Alex Pettyfer, Aml Ameen, Alan Rickman, Jane Fonda and Robin Williams. Hit the jump to check out the images. [Update: The set photos have been removed at the request of the pictures' owners.]
We’ve got a few big names for some big projects in casting news today, so let’s get to it:
- Jon Favreau is set to join director Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, starring Leonardo DiCaprio in the adaptation of Jordan Belfort’s memoir.
- Liev Schreiber is on board for Lee Daniels’ The Butler, the biopic of longtime White House staffer, Eugene Allen. The picture already sports an impressive cast, featuring Forest Whitaker, David Oyelowo, and Oprah Winfrey as the three leads.
- We previously reported that Jay Baruchel was circling a role in the RoboCop reboot by Elite Squad director, Jose Padilha. New details have now emerged for his possible character.
Hit the jump for more information on each casting assignment.
Robin Williams has now firmed up plans to star in two upcoming projects. First up, Williams will play President Dwight D. Eisenhower in director Lee Daniels’ drama The Butler. The film tells the true story of Eugene Allen, a butler who served at the White House from 1952 to 1986. Forest Whitaker plays Allen, Oprah Winfrey is set as his wife, and David Oyelowo will star as Allen’s son. Daniels is casting a number of stars to play the famous men and women who come in and out of the White House over the years, and it was announced today that Williams will be playing Eisenhower. John Cusack, Alan Rickman, Terrence Howard, Vanessa Redgrave, Jane Fonda, Colman Domingo, Minka Kelly, and more are also lined up to appear.
Additionally, we previously heard that Williams would star alongside Mila Kunis and Peter Dinklage in Phil Alden Robinson’s high concept comedy The Angriest Man in Brooklyn. The actor’s involvement has now been confirmed, and you can read the full press release after the jump.
Though his latest feature, The Paperboy, was met with a less than enthusiastic response at its Cannes Film Festival premiere, director Lee Daniels continues to fill out the impressive cast for his next film, The Butler. The pic tells the true story of Eugene Allen, a butler who served at the White House from 1952 to 1986, and 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. Forest Whitaker plays Allen, Oprah Winfrey is set as his wife, and David Oyelowo will star as Allen’s son. Deadline reports that Alex Pettyfer (I Am Number Four) will play Thomas Westphall, a character who appears early in the film and has a pivotal influence on Allen’s life.
Moreover, Deadline adds that Vanessa Redgrave is circling a role in the pic as well. The supporting cast thus far includes Alan Rickman, Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, Minka Kelly, Jane Fonda, and Lenny Kravitz. Production begins next month and Pettyfer will next be seen in Magic Mike.
Two bits of casting news today for some lovely leading ladies (although only one of the roles is actually a lead). Here are the headlines:
- Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland) is set to join Tracks for director John Curran (The Painted Veil). The Australian-set picture is based on Robyn Davidson’s trek across the heart of the island continent.
- Minka Kelly (Friday Night Lights) will join Precious director Lee Daniels‘ historical drama, The Butler, based on the life of Eugene Allen, who served on the White House staff from 1952 to 1986.
Hit the jump for more.
Let’s talk movie casting additions for a change of pace from all of the TV news we posted earlier today. Here are the new announcements in brief:
Hit the jump for more.
Director Lee Daniels’ historical drama The Butler is shaping up to be one of the more exciting projects on the horizon. 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, with Forest Whitaker, David Oyelowo, and Oprah Winfrey set as the three leads.
Jane Fonda and John Cusack are already onboard, apparently in the roles of Nancy Reagan and President Richard Nixon, and now a number of high profile actors are circling the project as the rights are poised to go up for sale at the Cannes Film Festival next week. Hit the jump to see who else is looking to take on the roles of some historical figures.
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.
HBO Films’ Game Change (premiering on March 10th) follows John McCain’s (Ed Harris) 2008 presidential campaign, from his selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (Julianne Moore) as his vice presidential running mate to their ultimate defeat in the general election. Told through the eyes of McCain strategist Steve Schmidt (Woody Harrelson), the man who championed Palin for the ticket, the film revisits a defining moment in U.S. politics. It pulls back the curtain to show the intense human drama, and the strength of the performances, especially from Harris, Moore and Harrelson, create a riveting story that you just can’t stop watching, even though you know the final outcome. Directed by Jay Roach, the film also stars Ron Livingston, Peter MacNicol, Sarah Paulson, Jamey Sheridan and Bruce Altman.
During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, writer/co-executive producer Danny Strong talked about why he enjoys collaborating with Jay Roach (with whom he also did Recount with), why the Sarah Palin story is so intriguing and unique, the different types of research that he did in writing the film, his first reaction to seeing both Julianne Moore and Ed Harris in character, and Steve Schmidt’s reaction to the final film. He also talked about the appeal of taking on screenwriter duties for The Lost Symbol, the next Robert Langdon story from author Dan Brown, that it looks like his script for The Butler (with Lee Daniels directing) will go into production in the next three of four months, and how he’s looking forward to making his directorial debut. Check out what he had to say after the jump: