It was a little disappointing when Matthew McConaughey dropped out of playing John F. Kennedy in The Butler. Watching the frequently shirtless, laid back actor taking on one of the most popular Presidents in history would have been worth the price of admission alone. And with Minka Kelly set to play his wife, a couple that attractive might have melted the screen, even if only in a cameo. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be, and now Variety reports James Marsden will step in.
Lee Daniels has put together an incredible ensemble for his true civil rights story, with Forest Whittaker taking on the role of Eugene Allen, a black man who served as a White House butler for more than thirty years. Serving eight Presidential administrations, Allen had an inside seat to history as the world evolved around him. Oprah Winfrey is playing Allen's wife, with David Oyelow as his son. Alan Rickman, Robin Williams, John Cusack, and Liam Neeson will play various Presidents, with Jane Fonda, Lenny Kravitz, Terrence Howard, Alex Pettyfer, and Vanessa Redgrave co-starring.
McConaughey might have been the flashier choice, but Marsden is a solid actor who could use a bit of a boost after that Straw Dogs remake. Filming on The Butler begins later this month in New Orleans.
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