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: Just in time for the parts of the country that go back to school in mid-August (seriously! That happens! As a lifelong New York State resident, this blows my mind), here are two Hollywood history lessons. In one, a White House butler (Forest Whitaker) Gumps his way through recent American history, only instead of newsreel footage we get a parade of stars playing Eisenhower (Robin Williams!), Kennedy (James Marsden!), Lyndon Johnson (Liev Schreiber!), Richard Nixon (John Cusack!) (!), and Ronald Reagan (Alan Rickman!). Why they didn't get Stephen Dorff to play Gerald Ford, we may never know. The Butler
(or as it is legally required to be known, Lee Daniels' The Butler
), is directed by, you guessed it, Lee Daniels, but costarring Oprah Winfrey, so I'm guessing even without an official producer credit she'll temper his loonier instincts. It'll probably make for a better movie, but a perverse part of me wants to see the version of this story made with the same unfettered lunacy
as last year's The Paperboy
. At least we know that John Cusack is all in for the Lee Daniels rep company. Meanwhile, I'm not sure if any of those weirdly cast presidents seem as offhand clumsy as the casting of Ashton Kutcher and Josh Gad as Steves Jobs and Wozniak, respectively, in Jobs
. Before Aaron Sorkin sometime in the future unleashes his sure to be Scott Rudin-produced version probably framed by some sort of wise-assed deposition, we get the version cast like it could be rebooting Dude, Where's My Car?