Variety reports that Forest Whitaker is in talks to play the title role in The Butler, Precious director Lee Daniels‘ upcoming biopic about Eugene Allen, a legendary White House butler who served under eight different presidents. The Last King of Scotland Oscar winner replaces Denzel Washington, who had been slated to star when the project was in development at Sony.
The Butler is currently without a distributor or financing, but producers are reportedly in talks with an actress whose name alone could change all that in an instant: Oprah Winfrey, Variety reports, is currently mulling an offer to star alongside Whitaker as Allen’s wife. It would be the former talk-show host’s first live-action big screen role since Beloved, Jonathan Demme’s 1998 adaptation of Toni Morrison’s acclaimed novel.
The project made headlines last week with the announcement that Black Swan star Mila Kunis had signed on to play Jackie Kennedy.