Because the first person you think of when you hear the name Nancy Reagan is Jane Fonda, the outspoken liberal actress is in talks to play the former First Lady of the United States in "The Butler." According to Variety, director Lee Daniels ("Precious") has chosen Fonda to play Reagan, though no casting deals are yet in place.
Based on a Washington Post story first published in the days after Barack Obama was elected president, "The Butler" focuses on Eugene Allen, a White House employee who served as butler to eight presidents from 1952 to 1986. Oscar winner Forest Whitaker is in talks to play Allen, while Oprah Winfrey is Daniels's choice for Allen's wife, Helene.
The film, which Variety previously compared to Steven Spielberg's upcoming "Lincoln," is a sprawling historical epic, meaning many of Hollywood's best and brightest will have a chance to appear in some small capacity. In addition to Fonda as Nancy Reagan, Liam Neeson and John Cusack are in discussions to play former presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon, respectively. Previously, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Mila Kunis was in talks for Jackie Kennedy, while Hugh Jackman was a possibility for either Dwight D. Eisenhower or John F. Kennedy.
Fonda was last seen onscreen in "Georgia Rule" back in 2007. The actress is famous for her political views and opposition of the Vietnam War.