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Minka Kelly and Lenny Kravitz Join Lee Daniels’ ‘The Butler’

Written by on May 23, 2012 

It’s been a busy time for Precious director Lee Daniels. His new film, The Paperboy, is screening tomorrow at Cannes and already, Daniels working on his next project. Earlier this week, Daniels announced that he and Paperboy star Nicole Kidman would be reuniting for the new film. Now, it’s been revealed that Minka Kelly (Friday Night Lights) and Lenny Kravitz (Precious, The Hunger Games) are the latest additions to his upcoming movie, The Butler. Kelly is set to play Jackie Kennedy while Kravitz’ role is currently unknown. [ScreenDaily via The Playlist]

The Butler focuses on Eugene Allen (Forest Whittaker), a man most famous for serving eight presidents from 1952-1986 as a  White House Butler. Whittaker leads an all-star cast that, as of now, includes:

David Oyelowo as Allen’s son
Oprah Winfrey as Allen’s wife
Alan Rickman as Ronald Reagan
Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan
John Cusack as Richard Nixon
Matthew McConaughey as John F. Kennedy
Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrence Howard in unknown roles

Daniels’ thoughts on The Butler below:

“I connected with it because it is ultimately a father-son story with a civil rights backdrop […] In my lifetime there were separate water fountains, pools and toilets for blacks. People forget that. This is such an exciting journey for me.”

So far, this cast sounds nothing short of excellent. I’m a little surprised that Kelly’s playing Jackie Kennedy (though I’m still at a loss for words about McConaughey’s casting). In Friday Night Lights Kelly has an innocent beauty, she’s talented and when that girl cries, one’s heart will drop like a rock. Perhaps she has what it takes to really play tribute to one of the most beloved first ladies the nation has known.

Based off Wil Haygood‘s Washington Post article on Allen, the script was written initially by Danny Strong (Game Change) with rewrites by Daniels himself. Daniels is set to start location scouting next week and production will begin in July.

What do you think about the latest cast additions?

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