Lee Daniels' The Butler Picked Up By The Weinstein Company
Given its all-star cast, connection with history and Oscar-nominated director, The Butler was never in danger of hanging around a long time without picking up a distributor and now The Weinstein Company has swooped in to fill the gap. The studio has announced via press release that they have acquired the US rights to distribute the new film from Precious filmmaker Lee Daniels.
Based on a true story, the movie follows Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker), a man who served as a White House butler over the course of three decades and for eight different American presidents, including Dwight D. Eisenhower (Robin Williams), John F. Kennedy (James Marsden), Lyndon B. Johnson (Live Schreiber), Richard Nixon (John Cusack), and Ronald Reagan (Alan Rickman). In addition to the presidents the film also has actors like Oprah Winfrey, Melissa Leo, Minka Kelly, Lenny Kravitz, Cuba Gooding Jr., Jane Fonda, Terrence Howard, Vanessa Redgrave, Mariah Carey, David Oyelowo, Alex Pettyfer and Jesse Williamsas part of the cast.
The script was written by Daniels and Danny Strong based on an article written by the Washington Post’s Wil Haygood. The plot will travel through the decades of Gaines’ service as the American landscape changes through events like the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement, while also seeing how it affects Gaines on a personal level.
Said Harvey Weinstein about the acquisition, “Lee tells stories in a way no one else does. What struck me most about this story is the perspective it comes from, which in this case is the butler- a man who was a fly on the wall for decades in the world’s most powerful home. It takes an unbelievable cast like the one that’s in place to do this story justice, and we are proud to be given the chance to share this story with the world.”
No release date has been announced yet for the project, but given the Weinstein’s talent for picking out potential award winners don’t expect The Butler in theaters until Fall 2013.
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