Lee Daniels‘ The Butler has added yet another star to its already impressive cast list in the form of James Marsden, who will portray JFK, replacing Matthew McConaughey who was initially set for the role.
The roster of presidential portrayals in the film include Alan Rickman as Reagan, John Cusack as Nixon, Robin Williams as Eisenhower and Liam Neeson as Lyndon B. Johnson. Though that’s some pretty immense star-power, these are just supporting actors in Daniels’ drama and when we look at the remaining portrayals of White House staff, the list grows even more noteworthy.
This, of course, includes the film’s lead, butler Eugene Allen, who will be brought to the screen by Oscar winner Forest Whitaker, his wife (who will be played by Oprah Winfrey) and Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard and Jane Fonda who round out the remaining cast.
The Butler tells the true story of White House attendant Eugene Allen who served eight presidents in his career from 1952 to 1986, one of which – now - being Marsden’s JFK. Audiences most recently saw (a lot of) McConaughey in Steven Soderbergh‘s stripper extravaganza Magic Mike and was vague on his reasons for leaving. However, this is not a crushing loss as Marsden can easily pull off the role.
Marsden certainly doesn’t look that similar to JFK but neither did McConaughey, so it’s definitely nowhere near as strange as Cusack’s casting as Nixon. It will also be interesting to see Marsden in a more dramatic role and hopefully he’ll be as commanding as he ways in the grisly remake of Straw Dogs and less the goof, a la his turn as the human Easter Bunny replacement in Hop.
Plenty of actors have tackled JFK in their time with varying degrees of success. Who do you think did the best job? Do you think Marsden can pull it off?