“The Butler,” Lee Daniels’s film about an African American man who acted as White House butler over the course of multiple decades, may have found its Ronald Reagan.
Alan Rickman, the British actor perhaps best known for his roles in “Die Hard” and the “Harry Potter” films, has reportedly been cast as the 40th president of the United States, according to items in The Hollywood Reporter and Vulture. Yes, you read that correctly: Reagan may very well be played by Severus Snape.
Democrats are no doubt doing lunch food spit-takes as they read this and recall that the role of Rickman/Reagan’s wife has been claimed by the previously cast Jane Fonda. The Reagans, brought to you by Harry Potter’s frequent nemesis and the uber-liberal Fonda? Republicans surely can’t be happy about this.
To be fair, Rickman is a fine actor capable of great performances far beyond the walls of Hogwarts. He brings more to the table than his Snapeness. And “The Butler” is not about President Reagan. It’s about Eugene Allen, the Virginia man who worked in the White House for eight administrations and was profiled in The Washington Post by our own Wil Haygood. (The film is based on articles written by Haygood.)
Allen will be played by the also previously announced Forest Whitaker. But the film is beginning to sound more and more like an award-worthy ensemble piece.
Oprah Winfrey and John Cusack are part of the cast. And according to The Hollywood Reporter, Matthew McConaughey, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrence Howard also are attached to the project, which will be shopped around at the Cannes Film Festival.
For the record, Forbes reported back in March that Rickman was looking like the likely Ronald Reagan. Now, if THR and Vulture are on-target, that appears to be a done deal.
What do you think of this casting choice? Will Rickman make a good Reagan? Post a comment to share your thoughts.