New Images, Featurette/Clip, and TV Spots from THE BUTLER Starring Forest Whitaker

     July 29, 2013

the butler alan rickman jane fonda reagans

The Butler follows White House butler Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker) over several decades, serving from Eisenhower to Reagan.  For better or worse, director Lee Daniels (Precious) recruited a name cast to play the presidents: Robin Williams (Dwight D. Eisenhower), James Marsden (John F. Kennedy), Liev Schreiber (Lyndon B. Johnson), John Cusack (Richard Nixon), Alan Rickman (Ronald Reagan).  Probably best they seem to skip Jimmy Carter, because Daniels openly laments: “We had to finance it through bringing in names that meant something overseas.  It’s a very sad testament that [co-star] Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker can’t greenlight a film.”

If you want more names, Cuba Gooding Jr.Terrence Howard, David Oyelowo, Mariah Carey, Jane Fonda, Minka KellyLenny KravitzMelissa Leo, Alex Pettyfer, and Vanessa Redgrave also star.  Hit the jump for new images, a Fonda-centric featurette with the first clip, and two TV spots.





All images come from EW, who throws Cusack under the bus by placing Daniels’ “sad testament” quote under the image of Cusack as Nixon in the photo gallery.

I am not optimistic about The Butler, but I think it’s a neat premise, so I am rooting for Daniels and Co. to defy me and turn in a cohesive work.  The Butler opens August 16.

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  • Mixed Race rich kid NYC

    Looks like a TV movie

  • varagor

    Alan Rickman looks scarily similar to Reagan

  • Saltonstall

    Williams, Marsden, and Schreiber look similar enough to the presidents they’re playing. Rickman doesn’t look a lick like Reagan, nor does Cusack look anything like Nixon.

    • jdsmoothe

      Wtf? I was going to correct you because Schreiber looks like he’s playing Nixon but I went to IMDB and it said otherwise. It’s got to be a mistake because nothing about John Cusacks character looks like Nixon while on the other hand I almost thought the picture of Schreiber was Nixon..

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  • Jimmy B

    It’s weird to see how some of the actors look the part, and others not.