Forrest Whitaker leads an all-star cast in Lee Daniels' 'The Butler.'

Forrest Whitaker leads an all-star cast in Lee Daniels’ ‘The Butler.’

Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey are featured in the first new trailer from Lee Daniels “The Butler.” The movie is about more than serving crumpets and tea in the White House. It’s aiming for “The Color Purple” territory judging by its historical sweep.

Daniels tracks the true story of Cecil Gates, who served seven U.S. presidents beginning with the Eisenhower administration in the 1950s.

Gates’ tenure just happened to cover some of the most tumultuous events in the nation’s history, from the rise of the civil rights movement to the war in Vietnam and the counterculture. Gates retired in 1986 during the Reagan administration.

Daniels pulled together an all-star cast to play the presidents in the epic. Robin Williams may be the only one who is slightly miscast as President Eisenhower. James Marsden plays a credible John F. Kennedy.

John Cusack looks really sharp as President Richard Nixon, Liev Schreiber plays President Johnson) and Alan Rickman takes on President Ronald Reagan.

Rounding out the cast are Jane Fonda, Cuba Gooding Jr., Lenny Kravitz, Mariah Carey, Minka Kelly, Alex Pettyfer, Terrence Howard, Melissa Leo and Vanessa Redgrave.

Fonda, a former anti-war activist, plays Nancy Reagan , which must have the former first lady spinning in her grave.

The trailer provides a nice glimpse at the generational and social issues of the era from the perspective of Whitaker’s character, who has a bird’s eye view of history in the making. David Oyelowo plays his fiery son, who becomes a black radical.

The movie also features Gait’s personal struggle, rising from a field hand on a cotton farm to his distinguished position on the White House staff.

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