Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Jane Fonda to Portray Nancy Reagan

Moviefone reports that Oscar winner Jane Fonda (Coming Home), now 74, will play former First Lady Nancy Reagan in an upcoming motion picture directed by Lee Daniels (Precious) titled, The Butler.

The subject of The Butler is Eugene Allen (July 14, 1919 – March 31, 2010), and the story line will concentrate on the 34 years he spent working in the White House. Oscar winner Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland) is rumored to be in talks for the part of Allen, along with Oscar nominated Oprah Winfrey (The Color Purple) as his wife, and actor David Oyelowo (The Last King of Scotland) for the role of their son.
David Oyelowo

As the Hollywood Reporter pointed out earlier this month, "[Eugene] Allen started at the White House as a 'pantry man' in 1952, when blacks weren't allowed to use public restrooms in his native Virginia." He ended up serving eight presidents and retired as the head butler in 1986.
Columbia Pictures bought the rights to the 2008 Washington Post article, "The Butler / In Black and White," by Will Haygood. Director Daniels is a co-writer of the script with Danny Strong (Game Change, TV, 2012).

Oscar nominated Liam Neeson (Schindler's List) and John Cusack (The Raven, releasing April 27th) are being considered for the presidential roles of Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, respectively. Actress Milas Kunis' name has also been dropped, but at the moment, it is not known for which role.

It may be a stretch for Fonda to "inhabit" Mrs. Reagan's personality, considering how far apart they are politically and ideologically, but much the same could have been said for Meryl Streep portraying Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady before that fabulous makeup job and voice change. Then, presto, an Oscar for leading actress. Just saying, don't consider Fonda down for the count until the movie has finished production.

 Streep as Thatcher

Currently, The Butler is expected to release some time in 2013. Pamela Williams will produce for Laura Ziskin Productions.

Click title of this post for more. Follow Fonda on Twitter @janefonda.

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