Years back, Lee Daniels had some pretty clear ambitions to follow Precious with Selma, a biopic of Martin Luther King Jr. So clear were these ambitions, actually, that he even cast David Oyelowo (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) as the noted Civil Rights leader; Hugh Jackman, Robert De Niro, and Liam Neeson also circled it at various points, but the proper funds simply couldn’t come together, and it ceased to be. After The Paperboy occupied his time — and offended many good sensibilities — Daniels arrived at The Butler.
Things are, in some ways, coming full circle for him, with Deadline reporting that his White House drama will have Nelsan Ellis (True Blood, Secretariat) play King. (I bet the only reason Oyelowo wasn’t cast is on account of him taking another part in the film.) How much his material from Selma proves to impact The Butler is not something we can determine, though I’d guess it’s not a good deal; an addition made as shooting began makes me think the part’s nothing more than a cameo. If that prevents Daniels from hitting Forrest Gump-like historical bumps in the road, we’re better off for it.
The Butler stars Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Jane Fonda, Alan Rickman, John Cusack, Liev Schreiber, Nicole Kidman, Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, Minka Kelly, Lenny Kravitz, Alex Pettyfer, Robin Williams, and Mariah Carey, with a score provided by Quincy Jones.
Variety have a pair of casting stories for our consumption, either of which pertain to The Hive and Paul Feig‘s The Heat. First, it’s said that Jamie Denbo (Get a Job, Terriers) and Jessica Chaffin are being put into Feig‘s new comedy; their roles are unspecified, though the core of the film centers on an FBI agent (Sandra Bullock) and regular cop (Melissa McCarthy), both of whom must track down and arrest a Russian mobster. Bill Burr and Tony Hale will co-star.
The Heat will open on April 5th, 2013.
Afterward, we’ve heard Michael Eklund (The Divide) will be joining Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin in the Brad Anderson-helmed thriller, wherein the former actress plays a 911 operator forced to confront fears in order to save a girl, played by the latter. Eklund will appear as (spoilers?) the man behind the crimes.
Is it interesting to see Daniels continue his MLK quest with The Butler? Are The Heat and The Hive assembling well?
One of the most highly anticipated films of the Cannes Film Festivals was unveiled this morning to a divisive response, Nicolas Winding Refn‘s Only God Forgives. As we said in our review, “set amidst an underground Muay Thai boxing club and glowing with hellish red lights from countless brothels, the mood and style is more [...]
With this year’s Cannes Film Festival halfway done, one of the clear highlights is Coens‘ 1960′s-set folk music tale Inside Llewyn Davis. Profiling a down on his luck musician (Oscar Isaac), whose natural talent indicates he is destined for success, the film is a vivid portrait of what it means to be a starving artist. In [...]
Welcome to the latest episode of our official podcast, The Film Stage Show. This week, staff writer Danny King, associate editor Nick Newman and I review J.J. Abram‘s new entry in his flagship franchise, Star Trek Into Darkness. Before that, though, we run down our top 3 most-anticipated films of the Cannes Film Festival. Finally, we take a look at the [...]
There is truly something magical when you combine the French Riviera, the global film market and thousands of hungry filmgoers and critics. The end result is what has come to be known as the most prestigious film festival in the world, the Cannes Film Festival, currently in its 66th iteration. This is my third year [...]
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