After picking up a Best Director Oscar nomination for Precious, Lee Daniels has been keeping quite busy. He's got The Paperboy with Nicole Kidman and Zac Efron traveling the festival circuit, and his latest project (The Butler) has just been snatched up for US distribution by The Weinstein Company.
The Butler, the story of a former White House butler inspired by a real butler who served eight US Presidents, has an all-star cast led by Forest Whitaker and including John Cusack, Oprah Winfrey, Terrence Howard, Mariah Carey (she also had a small supporting role in Precious), Cuba Gooding Jr, Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Redgrave, Alan Rickman, Liev Schreiber, and Robin Williams. Daniels co-wrote the script with Danny Strong (he just picked up an Emmy for writing Game Change) which was inspired by an article of Wil Haygood's in the Washington Post.
Commenting on the project, writer/director Daniels said: "What moves me most about this man is his quiet nature, grace and unmatched perspective that comes from being in one place - a very powerful one - during what was arguably the period in American history that saw the most change."
Filming is currently taking place in New Orleans. TWC hasn't revealed when they expect to launch The Butler in theaters.
The official synopsis: "The Butler is 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."
(Photo © The Weinstein Company)