“The Butler,” Lee Daniels’s adaptation of Wil Haygood’s 2008 Washington Post article about long-time White House butler Eugene Allen, has gained considerable heat at the Cannes Film Festival, where Nicole Kidman is said to be joining a cast that includes Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Jane Fonda. (Fonda will play Nancy Reagan; no word on who Kidman would portray.)
“The Butler” has also been a coveted title in the international market, where it was sold to at least eight territories. “’The Butler’ enjoyed an exceptionally powerful market, which shows the art house market is still very strong for A-level titles with a name filmmaker, powerful screenplay and well-rounded cast,” sales company IM Global chief Stuart Ford said in Monday’s edition of the trade publication Screen Daily.
Danny Strong (“Game Change”) adapted Haygood’s article; “The Butler” is scheduled to begin filming in July.