WHITAKER/OYELOWO EYE 'BUTLER' JOB
EXCLUSIVE: Forest Whitaker and David Oyelowo are in negotiations to star in Lee Daniels’ THE BUTLER, with Whitaker playing the title role and Oyelwo as his son, Variety's Justin Kroll reports. Based on the Washington Post report by Wil Haygood, the story follows Eugene Allen, the butler who served at the White House under eight presidents from 1952 to 1986. As previously reported, Oprah Winfrey is in early talks to play Allen’s wife. Denzel Washington was attached to the project but the gears never meshed and Washington fell off. The casting plan is similar to Steven Spielberg’s LINCOLN, with a large group of supporting players portraying famous figures while Whitaker, Oyelow and Winfrey get the most screentime. Whitaker has stayed very busy of late, with several films already wrapped and awaiting release including Lionsgate’s LAST STAND and PAWN.