Apparently the casting director of The Butler — the epic multi-President spanning biopic of Whit House butler Eugene Allen — is totally in it for the lulz. I draw this conclusion from the production’s choice to cast Jane Fond as Nancy Reagan, in their continuing quest to fill out several decades worth of iconic American figures.

Any chance of this being a sanguine Forest Gump-like crossover mainstream American nostalgia-fest just kinda went out the window, as there’s no chance in hell this will go over well with Boomer conservatives. Fonda ain’t Meryl Streep and Nancy Reagan isn’t a British politician…

To be fair, Jane Fonda kinda has the right look, even if she’s already 15 years old than Nancy Reagan was when she entered office with her Husband, ole Ronnie R. Of course the real issue comes when you compare Fonda’s history of controversial leftie activism and the choice to have her portray a nearly untouchable GOP icon. I’m sure we’ll get all the lines about “not judging one’s character” and the like, but there’s no doubt this was a decision made with the expectation of getting some attention. And you can bet your ass it will, to the point that this likely bit part could overwhelm the coverage of the film in the mainstream sphere. Or Rush will spend five minutes bitching on his show and noone will care. Could go either w

More interesting than ostentatious casting for what will surely be a smaller part, is word that Forrest Whitaker is up for the lead role. It’s not set in stone yet, but the Oscar Winner is circling the part that would likely be his next chance to go for the gold. That’s a mean way of looking at it, but I’ve not seen a project that screams “OSCAR BAIT” more loudly since, well… I guess Extremely Loud & Incredibly Didntwinshit. That said, there’s at least a really fascinating story at the root of this endeavor.

Along with Whitaker’s confirmation there are still interesting real-life roles yet to be filled, so expect to hear more stunt casting between now and the film’s shoot.

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Source | THR