Lee Daniels’ all-star ensemble was an international sell-out in Cannes through IM Global and is already been spoken of as an awards contender for 2014.

Forest Whitaker leads a cast that includes Oprah Winfrey, Mariah Carey, John Cusack, Melissa Leo, Jane Fonda, Cuba Gooding Jr, Terrence Howard, Minka Kelly, Lenny Kravitz, Melissa Leo, James Marsden, David Oyelowo, Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Redgrave, Alan Rickman, Liev Schreiber and Robin Williams.

Production continues in New Orleans following a delay due to the recent storms. Daniels and Danny Strong co-wrote the screenplay to The Butler, inspired by Wil Haygood’s Washington Post article about the life of a White House servant whose career spanned more than 30 years and eight Presidents.

The late Laura Ziskin produced alongside Pamela Oas Williams, Daniels, Buddy Patrick and Cassian Elwes. Len Blavatnik, Aviv Giladi, Vince Holden, Hilary Shor and Adam Merims are among the many executive producers.

Icon UK Group, Windy Hill Pictures, Follow Through Productions, Salamander Media, Salloway Rubenstein Productions/Crystal City Entertainment, Earl W Stafford, Starstream Films, Yogi Entertainment and Inner Media Capital financed the film.

CAA packaged the film and represented domestic rights on behalf of Butler Films alongside Elwes of Evolution Entertainment and Schuyler Moore of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan. The Weinstein Company COO David Glasser and president of business and legal affairs Andrew Kramer negotiated for the buyer.