Lee Daniels' The Butler

August 16th 2013
  • Drama/Historical,
  • PG-13,
  • 132 min,
  • The Weinstein Company
  • Cast: Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, David Oyelowo, Liev Schreiber, John Cusack, Robin Williams, James Marsden, Alan Rickman, Jane Fonda, Alex Pettyfer, Minka Kelly, Jesse Williams, Mariah Carey, Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr., Nelsan Ellis, Vanessa Redgrave, Lenny Kravitz, Yaya Alafia, Aml Ameen, David Banner, Tarra Riggs, David Jensen, Orlando Eric Street, Dana Gourrier, Mo McRae, Stephen Rider, Kay Smith, James DuMont, Alex Manette, Colman Domingo, Marco St. John, Nealla Gordon, Jim Gleason, Colin Walker, Pernell Walker, Donna Duplantier, Wanda Leigh, Ray Gaspard, Chloe Barach, LaJessie Smith, Robert Aberdeen
  • Director: Lee Daniels
  • Writers: Danny Strong, Wil Haygood
  • Producers: Lee Daniels, Cassian Elwes, Buddy Patrick, Pamela Oas Williams, Laura Ziskin
  • Co Producers: Julia Barry, Valerie Hoffman, David Jacobson
  • Associate Producers: Horatio Bacon, Eric Falkenstein, Manos Gavras, Wil Haygood, Andrew Herwitz, Christina Papagjika, Bobby Sain
  • Executive Producers: Len Blavatnik, Charles Sauveur Bonan, James T. Bruce IV, Elizabeth Destro, Michael Finley, Allen Frederic, Aviv Giladi, Adonis Hadjiantonas, Vince Holden, Brett Johnson, Sheila C. Johnson, Jordan Kessler, Kim Leadford, Harry I. Martin Jr., Adam Merims, Ar
  • Art Directions: Lori Agostino, Erik Polczwartek, Jason Baldwin Stewart
  • Castings: Leah Daniels, Billy Hopkins
  • Costume Design: Ruth E. Carter
  • D.O.P.: Andrew Dunn
  • Editor: Joe Klotz
  • Makeup: Debra Denson
  • Music: Rodrigo Leão
  • Production Design: Tim Galvin
  • Set Decoration: Diane Lederman


Tells the story of a White House butler who served eight American presidents over three decades. The film traces the dramatic changes that swept American society during this time, from the civil rights movement to Vietnam and beyond, and how those changes affected this man’s life and family. Forest Whitaker stars as the butler with Robin Williams as Dwight Eisenhower, John Cusack as Richard Nixon, Alan Rickman as Ronald Reagan, James Marsden as John F. Kennedy, Liev Schreiber as Lyndon B. Johnson, and many more. Academy Award® nominated Lee Daniels ("Precious") directs and co-wrote the script with Emmy®-award winning Danny Strong ("Game Change").

Basic Information

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Filming Locations: New Orleans, USA
  • Production Budget: $25 million
  • Production Companies: Laura Ziskin Productions, Outpost Studios, Windy Hill Pictures
  • Production Schedule: 6 August 2012 - 7 October 2012

Featured Articles

  • This film has no related articles.


2013 Guide Analysis: "The most obvious of 2013's awards-bait films, "The Butler" tells the admittedly fascinating story of African-American butler Eugene Allen (played by Forest Whitaker) who worked at the White House over three decades (1952-1986). In the process, Allen ended up serving under eight American Presidents. This tightly-budgeted $17 million project is also "Precious" director Lee Daniels' first film since his campy southern Gothic tale "The Paperboy" opened to some rather savage reviews.

'Butler' boasts an incredible cast including Oprah Winfrey as the title character's wife Gloria Gaines, her first on-screen film role since "Beloved." Talent playing former U.S. Presidents include Robin Williams as Dwight D. Eisenhower, James Marsden as John F. Kennedy, Liev Schreiber as Lyndon B. Johnson, John Cusack as Richard Nixon, and Alan Rickman as Ronald Reagan. Throw in supporting roles played by Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave, Alex Pettyfer, Melissa Leo, Lenny Kravitz, Cuba Gooding Jr., Mariah Carey, Terrence Howard, and David Oyelowo, and you have the biggest ensemble of the year.

Daniels says his story is about a quiet man situated as something of a fly on the wall in one of the most powerful and critical places in the country during a time of massive civil rights advances and social changes. Acclaimed "Game Change" scribe Danny Strong penned the script, just another stellar choice that makes this one of The Weinstein Company's big award contenders next year unless something goes awry. Shot in New Orleans a few months ago, the story also includes a big emotional hook - Allen’s wife died the day before Obama was elected in 2008. Allen himself passed away in 2010."

Trailers & Clips

Watch this films trailers

Worldwide Release Dates

  • 5 September 2013: Portugal
  • 11 September 2013: France
  • 13 September 2013: Finland
  • 11 October 2013: Sweden
  • 4 December 2013: Belgium
  • 5 December 2013: Netherlands
  • 12 December 2013: Argentina
  • 25 December 2013: Norway
  • 16 January 2014: Denmark