The Weinstein Company has acquired distribution rights for The Butler, the upcoming ensemble drama from Precious director Lee Daniels. The film stars Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Mariah Carey, John Cusack, Jane Fonda, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Terrence Howard, Lenny Kravitz, Melissa Leo, James Marsden, Vanessa Redgrave, Alan Rickman, Liev Schreiber and Robin Williams. No release date has been announced.
The Butler follows an African-American man (Whitaker) who served as a butler in the White House for more than thirty years, tending to eight Presidents. The all-star cast will play various public figures, including Schreiber as Lyndon B. Johnson, Rickman as Ronald Reagan and Williams as Dwight Eisenhower.
Redgrave most recently appeared on Broadway in Driving Miss Daisy opposite James Earl Jones. Schreiber appeared in 2010's A View From the Bridge with Scarlett Johansson. Alan Rickman originated the role of Leonard in Theresa Rebeck's Seminar last year. Robin Williams took his stand-up routine to Broadway in 2002, and appeared last year in Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo.