Liam Neeson to Play Lyndon B. Johnson in Lee Daniels' 'The Butler'?
by Ethan Anderton
February 16, 2012
Just late last night we learned that Lee Daniels was looking to land Oprah Winfrey for a lead role in his forthcoming film The Butler, the story of of Eugene Allen, a servant in the White House who worked through eight presidents from Harry S. Truman to Ronald Reagan. In addition, John Cusack, Hugh Jackman, Mila Kunis and David Oyelowo were all wanted for key roles. Now one of our own sources informs us that Liam Neeson is also being lined up to play Lyndon B. Johnson, the 37th Vice President of the United States, who would become our 37th President after John F. Kennedy's assassination back in 1963.
The article on which the film is based follows his work from starting at the White House as a "pantry man" in 1952, when blacks weren't allowed to use public restrooms in his native Virginia all the way through various historical events like the Vietnam War, the civil rights movement, the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy, and finally the election of President Barack Obama. Sadly, Allen's wife, the role meant for Winfrey, passed away the day before she would've been able to cast her vote for then Senator Obama and the butler went to the voting booths alone.
Our source also says that Cusack and Winfrey are close to being confirmed for their respective roles, the former playing Richard Nixon and the latter playing Eugene Allen's wife. As for Oyelowo's casting, it doesn't sound like he's locked for the titular role yet, and this might even be the chance for an unknown talent to step up and take the role. It would make sense with all the big name talent being cast in supporting roles around him. Denzel Washington was once mentioned for the lead role, but it appears he might just be too old for the role. As for Neeson, he was also wanted for the same role in Daniels' now dead project Selma, so this just makes sense. Hopefully we'll hear official word on casting for The Butler sooner than later.