Robin Williams cast as President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 'The Butler'
Robin Williams has been cast in a presidential role.
The actor and comedian is set to play President Dwight D. Eisenhower in the upcoming film "The Butler," according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The movie is based on the true story of Eugene Allen, a man who served as a White house employee for 34 years before his retirement in 1986. Allen saw eight first families during his time at the White House, which began in 1952.
"The Butler" was inspired by a Washington Post article about Allen published in 2008. Allen died of renal failure in 2010.
The film will be directed by "Precious" director Lee Daniels and actor Forrest Whitaker is set to play the titular butler. Oprah Winfrey will appear as his wife. It will be Winfrey's first film acting role since the 1998 film "Beloved." She lent her voice to "Bee Movie" in 2007 and to "The Princess and the Frog" in 2010.
"The Butler" will also star Vanessa Redgrave, Terrence Howard, John Cusack, Alan Rickman and Jane Fonda. "The Butler" will begin shooting later this month in New Orleans, according to the trade paper.
The role marks Williams' return to more dramatic films. The 60-year-old actor won an Academy Award in 1998 for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for "Good Will Hunting" and he was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role in 1988 for "Good Morning, Vietnam," in 1990 for "Dead Poets Society" and in 1992 for "The Fisher King."
Technically, this is not the first time Williams has portrayed a United States president on screen. The actor played a wax model of Theodore Roosevelt that came to life in the 2006 movie "Night at the Museum" and its 2009 sequel "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian." He also voiced President Ulysses S. Grant in the documentary series "Freedom: A History of the Us."
President Dwight D. Eisenhower was the 34th president of the United States and began serving his first term in 1953. Eisenhower succeeded President Harry S. Truman and Richard Nixon, who would later become President in 1969, served as Eisenhower's vice president.
President Eisenhower served two terms and was in office until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army during World War II before becoming president. He died at the age of 78 in 1969 from congestive heart failure.