The debut trailer for Lee Daniels' The Butler, based on the true story of a black man who served eight US presidents, has hit the web.
Forest Whitaker stars as Cecil Gaines, whose story is based on the real-life White House butler Eugene Allen. Allen served presidents between 1952 and his retirement in 1986, by which time he had risen from a lowly pantry man to the head role, Maître d'.
Daniels' film stars Oprah Winfrey, in her first big screen role since 1998's Beloved, as Gaines's wife, Gloria. Britain's David Oyelowo plays his son, Louis, who becomes a freedom fighter during the civil rights era, a role that brings him into conflict with his father.
Daniels' film also features a heavily garlanded cast, as the various presidents and first ladies Gaines meets along the way: Robin Williams plays Dwight D Eisenhower, Melissa Leo appears as Mamie Eisenhower, James Marsden portrays John F Kennedy with Minka Kelly as wife Jackie, John Cusack plays Richard Nixon, and Alan Rickman miraculously morphs into Ronald Reagan, with Jane Fonda as his wife, Nancy.
The Butler is being released in the US in October – timing that suggests an Oscars run in 2014. It has been financed by the Weinstein Company, whose Harvey Weinstein is a renowned awards-season campaigne