Oprah Winfrey was nominated for an Oscar for her movie acting debut in The Color Purple, but she’s rarely returned to the silver screen, preferring instead to get paid ludicrous amounts of money to host a chat show and then setting up her own TV station. However it appears she’s thinking about returning to acting, as THR reports that she’s considering taking a role in Lee Daniel’s The Butler.
The movie has slowly been working its way to the big screen, but like several other films Daniels (who is, incidentally, openly gay) has tried to get made since Precious, it’s been a tough slog. His civil rights drama, Selma, fell to bits despite having an incredibly starry cast, but Daniels is hoping that a bit of star power will help The Butler, as alongside Winfrey, he’s busy lining up Hugh Jackman, John Cusack, Mila Kunis and David Oyelowo.
The movie will be about Eugene Allen, an African American who worked in the White House through eight presidencies, from 1952 to 1986, going from the lowly position of pantry man to being the highest ranked butler in the house. The film is based on a series of articles about Allen and his life, written by Will Haygood.
No deals are in place for the actors, but Daniels is hoping that if he can attach their names to the movie it’ll help The Butler actually get in front of the cameras. To be honest, it’s slightly worrying that even after the success of Precious, Daniel’s is still having such incredible difficulty getting films about African Americans made. It’s not even as if he’s asking for hundreds of millions of dollars, but it appears that as soon as the subject is black people and the issues they face, the coffers dry up (unless you’ve already got a hit book like The Help to base it on).