First Still From Lee Daniels' The Butler

Forest Whitaker will serve you now

The Butler is the latest directorial effort from Lee Daniels – who previously brought us Precious and produced Monster's Ball – starring the Oscar-winning Forest Whitaker as Cecil Gaines, a character inspired by Eugene Allen. Here, via Variety, is its very first still.

Unless you're a Presidential history buff, Eugene Allen won't the biggest name on your radar, but he is a very important one, serving as The White House's butler for 34 years, starting with Harry Truman in 1952 and ending with Ronald Reagan in 1986.

It's the story of his life, as told by Washington Post reporter Wil Haygood, that Daniels has been inspired by here, harnessing Whitaker's acting talents alongside the likes of John Cusack (as Nixon), Robin Williams (as Eisenhower), Alan Rickman (as Reagan), James Marsden (as JFK), David Oyelowo, Aml Ameen, Jane Fonda and – wait for it – Oprah Winfrey.

On scripting duties are Daniels himself, as well as relative newcomer Danny Strong, until now best known for acting in Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Gilmore Girls and Mad Men (Strong also has TV movies Recount and Game Change under his belt as a writer).

With no date set yet, The Butler is earmarked for release at some point in 2013.