It looks like Lee Daniels really wants to get the “Selma” gang back together. Last night it was reported that the director was gearing up the gestating “The Butler” that he first signed on to back in 2010 with a number of big names in the mix including Oprah Winfrey, Hugh Jackman, Mila Kunis, John Cusack and David Oyelowo. The connections here are numerous, but Oprah executive produced “Precious,” Cusack and Oyelow both feature in Daniels’ upcoming “The Paperboy” while Jackman and Oyelowo were both touted for roles in the civil rights drama “Selma” before it fell apart. Now one more name is entering the fray.
FirstShowing reports that Liam Neeson is being is being lined up to play Lyndon B. Johnson, the same role Daniels wanted him to play in “Selma.” Anyway, this project would follow the life of Eugene Allen, a servant who worked in the White House for 34 years, under eight presidents, and watched the political changes that allowed segregation to come to an end. With his life covering such a big piece of history, the stars are being eyed for interesting roles including Cusack as Richard Nixon and Kunis as Jackie Kennedy.
According to the site, Oweloyo, touted for the lead, may not land it but both Winfrey and Cusack are looking like certainties. The project is still tying up financing and putting the pieces together, but should all the names get into place, everything else would likely follow.