Unafraid to push the envelope, film director, Lee Daniels, who brought Precious to the big screen, wrote produced and directed a poignant film The Butler. Filmed from the point of view of a Black White House butler who worked from 1952 to 1986, Daniels showcases a man who gets a front-row seat to witness change happen for America from within the White House walls and its trickle down effect on the American people, while also still dealing with racism.
With just shy of a month left before the movie is set to open nationwide, The Weinstein Company (TWC) is now allowed to use some variation of the name The Butler in the movie title, but will have to pay $400,000 in settlement fines and now alter their marketing materials
The dispute began when Warner Bros. tried to stake claim over the title “The Butler” which is a 97-year-old short silent film that is currently stored in the studio’s archives. Harvey Weinstein fought back stating there would be no confusion between both films and alleged Warner Bros. had “ulterior motives.”
Despite having to pay the fine, Weinstein considered the agreement a victory. He issued a statement that the new name of the film is titled, Lee Daniels: The Butler
We are thrilled this has all come to an end and has been resolved. The MPAA’s overturning of their original decision to now allow the use of ’butler’ in the title is a victory for Lee Daniels…Now we can focus…on the amazing performances by Forest, Oprah and the incredible cast who spent countless months bringing this story about American history and civil rights to screen.
Based on the life of Cecil Gaines who served as butler in the White House for 34 years, Forest Whitaker plays Eugene Allen, a butler who worked under eight different presidents, as well as during the Civil Right’s Era. Oprah Winfrey returns to the big screen playing Whitaker’s wife and the star-studded cast includes Terrence Howard, Lenny Kravits and John Cusack.
Lee Daniels: The Butler is set to hit theaters Aug. 16
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