The Butler (2013) Poster

(I) (2013)


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The character of Cecil Gaines was based on Eugene Allen, who served as White House butler for over 30 years and 8 presidents: Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan. Much of the detail is fictionalized for this movie.
Reunites Robin Williams and Forest Whitaker after 26 years of their first appearance together in Good Morning, Vietnam (1987).
In the original script, Cecil Gaines meets President Barack Obama. Lee Daniels considered asking the president to play himself. Since the film was shot during the height of the 2012 presidential election, Daniels decided to cast actor Orlando Eric Street in the role instead. The scene was shot but ultimately discarded, and archival footage of the real President Obama was used.
On Gloria's vanity mirror in the bedroom are two pictures of children. One of them is a photo of Oprah Winfrey as a child.
First inspired by a feature article published November 7, 2008, in the Washington Post: "A Butler Well Served by This Election."
Warner Brothers Pictures, owners of a 1916 silent short film called The Butler (1916), filed a claim with the MPAA to rename this film. The MPAA allowed the Weinstein Company to add Lee Daniels' name in front of the title, under the condition that his name was "75% the size of The Butler". On July 23, 2013, the distributor unveiled a revised film poster, with the title "Lee Daniels' The Butler".
Laura Ziskin's final film. She died of breast cancer on June 12, 2011 before it was completed.
Robin Williams plays President Dwight D. Eisenhower. In the Night at the Museum (2006) fantasy movies he played a magically-brought-to-life wax statue of President Theodore Roosevelt, and in Man of the Year (2006) he played a fictionalized President.
Lee Daniels admitted that he tried to convince as many stars as he could to appear in the film, even for bit parts, so as to improve the marketability.
The film cast includes five Oscar winners: Forest Whitaker, Robin Williams, Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave and Cuba Gooding Jr.; and two Oscar nominees: Oprah Winfrey and Terrence Howard.
Matthew McConaughey was cast as John F. Kennedy, but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. James Franco was considered to replace him.
Mila Kunis was considered to play Jacqueline Kennedy.
Liam Neeson was considered to play Lyndon B. Johnson.
Oprah Winfrey's first on-screen film role since Beloved (1998) in which she does not play herself.
The screenplay for this film was featured in the 2010 Blacklist: a list of the "most liked" unmade scripts of the year.
Writer Danny Strong makes a cameo as a Freedom Rider in the bus, flirting with the girl next to him.
The original cast also included Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, and Zac Efron in unspecified roles.
The film has 41 credited producers.
David Oyelowo in this movie is a part of a group called the 'Freedom Riders' who fight for black rights, David will later play Martin Luther King Jr. in the movie "Selma"
Though they don't appear in a scene together, this is the first film Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave have made together since Julia (1977).
Melissa Leo was cast as Mamie Eisenhower, but her scenes were cut.
Columbia Pictures put the film in turnaround in 2008. The Weinstein Company acquired the distribution rights in 2012.
Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr, David Oyelowo, and Elijah Kelly all previously worked together in Red Tails (2012).
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The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

Some aspects of the movie conflicted with the real life happenings of Eugene Allen; the inspiration for the character Cecil Gaines. In the movie, Gaines was caught stealing cake from a hotel, got hired as a waiter at the same hotel and later impressed a White House administrator who happened to be there. In real life, Allen just applied for the job and got it. Gaines' sons were depicted as one having died in Vietnam and the other joining the Black Panthers. In real life, Allen's son who went to Vietnam survived and went on to work for the State Department. The affair by his alcoholic wife was also made up for the movie.

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