By several accounts, Lee Daniels’ next project after The Paperboy, The Butler, has been the “US arthouse sensation of the market” (the market being the Cannes Film Market happening right now, in case you haven’t been following all out posts).
The sales company repping the film, IM Global, has already sold rights to the film to France, Australia, Japan, Italy, Germany, Benelux, Spain, Russia and Eastern Europe and Latin America; and a single frame hasn’t even been shot yet. But such is the biz – foreign presales to help sure-up the budget, so that a frame CAN be shot.
And with the cast Daniels has been signing up for The Butler, it’s no wonder: Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, David Oyelowo, Matthew McConaughey, John Cusack, Alan Rickman, Terence Howard and Cuba Good Jr., Jane Fonda, and now Nicole Kidman, as announced earlier today.
Kidman just worked with Daniels in The Paperboy by the way; as did Oyelowo and McConaughey.
The project is scheduled to begin principal photography this July on a project that’s based on the life of White House butler Eugene Allen (pictured above) who served eight US Presidents during his tenure. Whitaker will play Allen in the film.