First Trailer for THE BUTLER Starring Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, John Cusack, Robin Williams, and More

     May 7, 2013


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 CareyJohn CusackJane FondaCuba Gooding Jr.Terrence Howard, Minka KellyLenny KravitzMelissa LeoJames MarsdenAlex PettyferVanessa Redgrave, Liev Schreiber, and Robin WilliamsThe Butler opens on October 18th.

Via Yahoo! Movies.

Here’s the official synopsis for The Butler:

THE BUTLER, based on the screenplay by Danny Strong & Lee Daniels, is inspired by Wil Haygood’s Washington Post article about an African-American man who served as a butler (Whitaker) to eight Presidents in the White House for over thirty years. From this unique vantage point, THE BUTLER traces the dramatic changes that swept American society, from the civil rights movement to Vietnam and beyond, and how those changes affected this man’s life and family.


  • I’mNotTheGreatest

    This looks terrible and too much Oscar baiting.

    • Nathaniel Haywood

      It’s definitely Oscar baiting – anytime you have that many celebrities, it’s pretty clear. I think it could be good, though. Forest Whitaker is great, and all the actors they have playing presidents are really good too. Only time will tell, but it may be worth seeing (especially in October when nothing else is out).

  • Albert

    Regarding the new commenting system- It looks great and professional. Good improvement, keep it up!

    • Albert

      And it’s super easy and fast to publish the comment now that I tried it!

    • shadypotential

      no it isn’t. it sucks. Strong Enough lives on!

  • Keegan

    why is every president portrayed as a solid 15 years younger?


    wow none of those actors look at ALL like the presidents that they are playing

  • Doug

    This is hardcore Oscar-bation….from the uplifting music, the characters who face adversity only to become stronger people, big name cast, even the font of the titles was a generic gold letter typeface that I’ve seen in many trailers that claim to be “based on the remarkable true story”

  • Jason Richards

    Fuck Goldberg.

    • shadypotential

      …in his bed with your mom

    • David

      Actually Goldberg has improved a lot.

  • Dylan D

    looks terrible haha, it looks so overly sugary

  • David

    at least it’s not another white person who saves the poor black man scenario. this could actually be refreshing.

  • JamDenTel

    I’m hoping this is actually a joke. Because this looks like a joke.

  • D3xt3r Khiangte

    Also, you can watch it here HD:

  • alk

    Literally my face 0….0 when I saw Alan Rickman….so looks like Richard Nixon from the short clip we saw. i will say this is total oscar bait, but they could’ve done so much better than forest whitaker. i like him as an actor, but he just doesn’t fit here. that lazy eye is also somewhat annoying, especially and more obvious to us when we see his younger self/actor DOESN’T have it! UGHHHH

    • alk

      not richard nixon, i mean Ronald Reagan. definitely ronald reagan.

    • Django

      Why dismiss what could be an amazing performance based on the way someone looks?

  • Pingback: First Trailer for THE BUTLER Starring Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, John Cusack, Robin Williams, and More - SC NATO()

  • Pingback: The Butler - Seite 3()

  • Drool monster

    Looks… safe

  • Pingback: First Look | THE BUTLER and GRAVITY | MOVIE JABBER()

  • -

    The trailer actually seems like a parody of every Oscar-bait movie ever made. Seriously. I mean, the first Lincoln trailer looked a bit Oscar-baity and (while that movie was unquestionably that) it ended up being quite good, but this is at an entirely different level of Oscar-baitery.

    Did I mention that this looks like Oscar bait?

  • Pingback: All Things:BIOPICS - Page 2()

  • old hippie

    Glad Whitaker got a good part. The movie looks very earnest…speaking as one who remembers those times…including the Bobby Kennedy awakening and what he said publicly I look forward to it.

  • Pingback: Eerste trailer voor THE BUTLER met Forest Whitaker - Cineme | Cineme()