After receiving critical acclaim for his Oscar nominated film Precious, director Lee Daniels has been hard at work developing another heart-wrenching drama. The film is called Selma and it features a cast led by Hugh Jackman and Precious alum Lenny Kravitz. It was set to be Daniel’s next big project, but unfortunately it hit a wall — enter The Butler. According to Deadline, he’s taking some time away from his Civil Rights film to direct a movie about a White House servant.
Daniels is currently awaiting financing for Selma and in the midst of that has signed on with Sony Pictures Entertainment to rewrite and direct The Butler. You’re probably wondering what the hell is “The Butler” and why has it caught Daniels’ eye? The film will center on Eugene Allen, a man who was a servant in the White House for over 34 years. He watched the eight presidents he worked for wrestle with and finally stem the tide of segregation.
A lot of the material covered in the movie will be based on a series of articles written on Butler by Wil Haygood. The first draft of the script was penned by Danny Strong who worked on Recount. Daniels will immediately come in and work some of his magic on the script and eventually direct from it. Production could begin before the end of the year and there’s word that Denzel Washington has been approached to play the title role.
All the while Selma is still waiting for its money, which is ridiculous considering the attached cast of Jackman, Liam Neeson, David Oyelowo, Ray Winstone, Robert De Niro, and Cedric the Entertainer. Jackman even gained 30 pounds to play his role in the movie! Maybe they should all pool their individual resources to make this happen.
What do you think of Daniels taking on The Butler? What do you think of the finance issues with Selma?