Forest Whitaker And David Oyelowo Join Lee Daniels' The Butler, Oprah In Talks

By Eric Eisenberg 2012-03-06 19:10:24discussion comments
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Forest Whitaker And David Oyelowo Join Lee Daniels' The Butler, Oprah In Talks image
A few weeks ago it was revealed that director Lee Daniels has one hell of a dream cast in mind for his next project, The Butler. That list included such A-list talent as Oprah Winfrey, Hugh Jackman, Mila Kunis and John Cusack. But while those actors would all be playing supporting roles, the report also said that the filmmaker was interested in having David Oyelowo, who has a role in Daniels' upcoming The Paperboy, star in the movie as the title character. It turns out that Oyelowo won't be playing the lead, however, as that part has gone to a different actor, but he will indeed be a part of the production.

According to Variety, Forest Whitaker has signed on to play Eugene Allen, a White House butler who served under eight U.S. presidents, while Oyelowo will play the butler's son. Also, while the casting of Jackman, Kunis and Cusack is still up in the air, Oprah is now in talks to play Allen's wife. Described as Daniels' passion project, the filmmaker wrote the script along with Danny Strong, who was recently hired to adapt Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol. The trade says that they are still going after the previously mentioned A-list talent as the plan is to set the movie up like Steven Spielberg's upcoming Lincoln, with a series of famous actors portraying famous people (the previous report said that Cusack would play Richard Nixon while Kunis would portray Jackie Kennedy).

I must say that the casting of Whitaker as Allen makes a hell of a lot more sense than Oyelowo - leading me to believe that the first report had a few of its facts wrong. If Oprah Winfrey, who recently turned 58 years old, was being looked at to play Allen's wife, why would they cast Oyelowo, who is only 35. Whitaker is a much more age appropriate choice and from a talent perspective, a great one in general.
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