Jane Fonda To Play Nancy Reagan In Lee Daniels' The Butler
When you say the word "liberal" there are still a lot of people whose minds immediately picture Jane Fonda. In addition to being a two-time Oscar winner, Fonda was heavily involved with politics during her career, fighting against the Vietnam War, speaking out in favor of civil rights and arguing in favor of women's rights. Now she'll be getting the opportunity to play the woman that many think of whenever they hear the word conservative.
Variety has learned that Fonda has been cast to play Nancy Reagan in Lee Daniels' The Butler. The story follows Eugene Allen, a butler who worked at the White House from 1952 to 1986, serving under a total of eight presidents. The goal is to eventually have an all-star cast in the biopic, much like what Steven Spielberg is doing with Lincoln. Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey and David Oyelowo are all still in talks, but would play Eugene, his wife, and his son, respectively.
In other news regarding the project, both Liam Neeson and John Cusack have expressed interest in The Butler. Cusack just recently had a chance to work with Daniels on The Paperboy and, as previous reports have said, he would play President Richard Nixon. Should Neeson make a deal he would play Lyndon B. Johnson. Daniels co-wrote the script with Danny Strong and they are still looking for financing and a distributor.
I am curious how Daniels is going to balance this film. If he makes it so that the movie just sees Eugene and his family interact with different presidents, it will feel episodic and perhaps detract from Eugene's real story. Then again, having an all-star cast could potentially do that too.
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