His newest film, The Butler, follows the life of a White House butler (Forest Whitaker) who served under several different Presidents throughout his 30-year career. Presidents like Dwight Eisenhower, JFK, and Lyndon B. Johnson were all served by the film's main character, who is based on a real life White House butler.
While no official photos for The Butler have been released thus far, Oprah Winfrey (who plays the character of Gloria Gaines in the film) has tweeted out a photo of herself, Daniels, and two fellow cast members, Jane Fonda and Alan Rickman, on set. But Rickman and Fonda aren't in their everyday attire in the photo - they're actually made-up to look like Presidential power couple Ronald and Nancy Reagan.
For the film, Lee Daniels has the arduous task of casting actors that resemble eight different U.S. Presidents. We can't say how the remaining actors will look in their respective roles, but based on this photo, we can say that Rickman and Fonda do a pretty good job. Rickman even has that trademark squint of the late Reagan (or perhaps that's just the camera flash).
Along with Rickman as Reagan, the film features John Cusack as Richard Nixon, Robin Williams as Dwight Eisenhower, James Marsden as John F. Kennedy, and Liev Schreiber as Lyndon B. Johnson. Without a doubt, it's an eclectic choice of actors, some that probably wouldn't have been our first or second choices when casting our nation's iconic presidents. But given Rickman's appearance in the above photo, we're willing to give Daniels the benefit of the doubt.
Additionally, several photos of James Marsden (X-Men) as John F. Kennedy and Minka Kelly (Charlie's Angels) as Jackie O appeared online in August, but they have since been taken down. The two look the part, but they aren't posing like Fonda and Rickman. The set photos in question also included an image of Forest Whitaker as "the butler," which can still be seen over at Variety.
Daniels isn't revealing too much about The Butler, which will almost assuredly be a contender come awards season. Hopefully, a trailer is on the horizon - or more set photos - that will show us how each actor embodies a famous President.
Source: Oprah Winfrey's Twitter