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.
Per THR, Matthew McConaughey, Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, and Alan Rickman are in talks to join the increasingly impressive ensemble. Details on their roles aren’t given, but Variety’s Jeff Sneider tweeted that Rickman may be playing President Ronald Reagan. Rickman’s an incredible actor and I would love to see his Reagan take opposite Jane Fonda. Mila Kunis and Liam Neeson have been rumored for roles, but there hasn’t yet been confirmation on their involvement.
McConaughey and Cusack both star in Daniels’ latest film, The Paperboy. The drama serves as the follow-up to Daniels’ Precious and is set to premiere at next week’s Cannes Film Festival. I’m sure Daniels will have no trouble finding buyers for The Butler with this stacked cast lined up, and I’m eager to see what historical figure McConaughey is lined up to portray. The actor is set to star in an 8-episode TV series for HBO alongside Woody Harrelson called True Detectives, but a production start date on the series hasn’t yet been set.