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Weinstein Co. acquires distribution rights for 'The Butler'

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The Weinstein Company has acquired the domestic distribution rights to Lee Daniels’ upcoming film The Butler.

The picture features Forest Whitaker as the titular butler, who served in the White House for 30 years under the administrations of eight different presidents. The rest of the cast consists of a litany of A-list talent from Hollywood and beyond: Oprah Winfrey, Mariah Carey, John Cusack, Jane Fonda, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Terrence Howard, Lenny Kravitz, Melissa Leo, Vanessa Redgrave, Alan Rickman, Liev Schreiber, and Robin Williams.

“Lee tells stories in a way no one else does,” Weinstein Company co-chair Harvey Weinstein said in a statement. “It takes an unbelievable cast like the one that’s in place to do this story justice, and we are proud to be given the chance to share this story with the world.”

Daniels previously directed 2009’s Precious, which earned Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Best Director. In addition to directing, he co-wrote the screenplay for The Butler, which is based on a Washington Post article by Wil Haygood.

“What moves me most about this man is his quiet nature, grace and unmatched perspective that comes from being in one place – a very powerful one – during what was arguably the period in American history that saw the most change,” Daniels said.

The Weinstein Company bought the distribution rights based on the screenplay by Daniels and co-writer Danny Strong.

The Butler is currently shooting in New Orleans and is slated for a 2013 release.

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