The iconic photo of President Richard Nixon shaking hands with Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Elvis Presley is often described as strange and bizarre. But if it wasn’t for that historic meeting, Liza Johnson’s new comedy, Elvis & Nixon, starring Michael Shannon and Kevin Spacey, as the respective icons, would not be happening.
Johnson’s new film documents the two real-life figures meeting for the first time at the White House’s Oval Office, but there is more to this event than a photo-op. The story behind this meeting is that Elvis really wanted a badge from the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, and would go as far as offering his services to the President to be an agent to get one.
Now we have our first look from the film, hit the jump to check it out.
Lee Daniels’ The Butler Director: Lee Daniels
Screenwriter: Danny Strong, Lee Daniels
Cast: Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Terrence Howard, David Oyelowo, Robin Williams, Alan Rickman, Jane Fonda, John Cusack The Weinstein Company
Rated PG-13 | 113 Minutes
Release Date: August 16, 2013
Directed by Lee Daniels (Precious), The Butler stars Academy Award-winner Forest Whitaker as Cecil Gaines, a White House butler who serves eight U.S. presidents from 1952 to 1986. Over the course of 30 years, he witnesses “” and becomes involved in “” the political and social turmoil of the times.
Inspired by Wil Haygood‘s Washington Post article, Lee Daniels’ The Butler is based on the true story of White House butler Eugene Allen and his family, portrayed in the film by Oprah Winfrey, David Oyelowo, and Elijah Kelley. The film also stars Robin Williams as Dwight D. Eisenhower, James Marsden as John F. Kennedy, Liev Schreiber as Lyndon B. Johnson, John Cusack as Richard Nixon, and Alan Rickman as Ronald Reagan.
The Butler feels like a Greatest Hits of Best Picture winners like Driving Miss Daisy, Forrest Gump, and The King’s Speech that borrows bits and pieces from similar films like The Help and Lee Daniels’ own 2009 film, Precious. Sentimental, melodramatic, and just a tad heavy-handed, Lee Daniels’ The Butler is run-of-the-mill Oscar bait, a period piece biopic that takes the audience on a crash course through American history, focusing on an underdog who interacts with historical figures and lives through all the things we read about in Social Studies class.