The Weinstein Company has acquired USA distribution rights to Lee Daniels’ White House drama The Butler.
The film is scripted to cover several decades in the life of Eugene Allen, the White House butler who served many presidents.
Principal photography has been in full swing in New Orleans, with a loaded cast that includes: Forest Whitaker(as the title character) Oprah Winfrey, David Oyelowo, John Cusack, Alan Rickman, Jane Fonda, Melissa Leo, Liev Schreiber, Jesse Williams, Mariah Carey, Yaya DaCosta, and many more.
Music for the film will be composed by the legendary Quincy Jones.
A Laura Ziskin Production, The Butler is being produced by Pamela Oas Williams, the late Laura Ziskin, Lee Daniels, and Cassian Elwes; executive produced by Hilary Shor and Adam Merims; and co-produced by David Jacobson.
The independently-financed film is bankrolled by Follow Through Productions, Windy Hill Pictures, Salamander Media, Salloway Rubenstein Productions/Crystal City Entertainment, Earl W. Stafford, Starstream Films, Yogi Entertainment, and Inner Media Capital.
The Weinstein Company plans a 2013 release. Might Harvey and company be considering its award-winning potential? Too early to tell. But with this cast, it should be a draw.
Said Weinstein in a press release:
“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.”
The deal was negotiated by TWC’s COO David Glasser, President, Business and Legal Affairs Andrew Kramer, and by Schuyler Moore of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, Cassian Elwes on behalf of Evolution Independent, and CAA on behalf of Butler Films.
Up next for Daniels is the polarizing The Paperboy, which I’ll be seeing soon; of course, my review will follow.