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Posted at 01:16 PM ET, 07/25/2012

Mork as Ike? Robin Williams to play Eisenhower in star-studded White House epic, ‘The Butler’

Robin Williams (Stephen Chernin/Reuters)
Thought the producers of White House epic “The Butler” couldn’t surprise you any more than they did by casting Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan ? Well, try this: In the role of President Eisenhower. . . Robin Williams.

Yes, that's right: Mork as Ike.

With filming now underway in New Orleans for the Lee Daniels-directed biopic of Eugene Allen — the White House butler who served eight presidents, as chronicled by our colleague Wil Haygood — producers announced several other juicy casting choices Wednesday:

James Marsden (Steve Dietl/CTMG)
Oscar winner Melissa Leo will play Mamie Eisenhower. JFK and Jackie will be embodied by “X-Men” heartthrob James Marsden and Esquire’s Sexiest Woman Minka Kelly. And Liev Schreiber is suiting up as LBJ. Also: John Cusack as Nixon, Alan Rickman as Reagan. . . and unspecified supporting roles for Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, Lenny Kravitz, and Mariah Carey, of all people. But it sounds like this A-list lineup will mostly serve as cameos to support the already-announced stars: Oscar winner Forest Whitaker as Allen, and Oprah Winfrey as his wife.

Read the original story that inspired the movie: White House butler Eugene Allen, well served by this election, 11/7/2008

Also in The Reliable Source:

James Windle runs uphill race for Congress — with a giant log on his shoulder

A secret bipartisan love affair amid the stimulus battle — but who was the couple?

George McGovern’s 90th birthday party celebrates old-fashioned liberal: “Thank you for being born.”

By  |  01:16 PM ET, 07/25/2012

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