Well, the legal battle is over and Warner Brothers has won the day (kind of). The Weinstein Company have been forced to change the title of “The Butler” to “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” allowing Warner Bros. archivists and lawyers to finally get some rest, worried as they were that audiences might walk into upcoming movie expecting to see a silent film from 1916. PHEW! With all that legal nonsense behind them, Harvey and co. can start marketing this movie again and they’ve got the ball rolling.
The first very brief clip from the movie has arrived showing Jane Fonda playing Nancy Reagan, undoubtedly sending conservatives into a panic the nation over. But as you’ll see, Fonda reveals why she was interested in the part and that, at least according to her, Nancy is cool with her playing the part. Meanwhile, some new pics have dropped showing the various faces playing famous names throughout the flick including Robin Williams as Dwight Eisenhower, John Cusack as Richard Nixon, Liev Schreiber as Lyndon B. Johnson and James Marsden as JFK. But the movie itself focuses on Cecil, based on the real life Eugene Allen, who served them all, with Forest Whitaker in the lead role.
But one person who won’t be seeing the movie? Character actor Harry J. Lennix, who you last saw playing General Swanwick in “Man Of Steel.” And he has a lot to say about Lee Daniels’ latest, which he was sent the script for, but didn’t end up in. “It’s not sour grapes,” Lennix said to the The Wave. “The only thing sour in my experience is ‘The Butler,’ that’s the bad grape in the bunch. [Daniels] bastardizes history for a horrible end and purpose. So what? So what if [Eugene Allen] was a servant in the White House? That’s incidental, I mean God bless the man, but in an effort to make it seem somehow profound they bastardized the actual history of the man.”
“Whatever dignity was in the story is stripped away with dubious techniques of this very sick filmmaker, who really needs to get some help because he’s not just hurting himself, he’s hurting other people because they look at that and accept it as truth because the medium of film is so powerful and then it has the false veneer of an historical event,” he continued. Strong words indeed…