Lee Daniels Isn't The Only Person Behind 'Lee Daniels' The Butler'

Lee Daniels, Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey are the main faces out in front of "Lee Daniels' The Butler," but neither the filmmaker nor his high-profile stars have been with the project as long as Danny Strong. An Emmy winner for the HBO movie "Game Change," Strong was hired to write "The Butler" in 2009, a year before Daniels even signed on as director.

Strong -- whom television fans might also know from his onscreen work on "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" and "Mad Men" -- based "The Butler" on the life of Eugene Allen, a White House service worker who worked through eight administrations, from Harry Truman to Ronald Reagan. (Allen's story was the source of an acclaimed Washington Post article in 2008.) For the film, Allen became Cecil Gaines (Whitaker), a White House butler who encounters history both at work and at home: Gaines' son (David Oyelowo) becomes a vocal member of the civil rights movement as his father moves from one president to the next at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Read More...


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