Oscar Award winning actor, producer and director Forest Whitaker has several projects on deck right now. Soon to be seen as the lead in Lee Daniels’ “The Butler” opposite Oprah Winfrey, he has current and upcoming roles in six other films.
Whitaker also put his producer’s hat back on recently, his movie “Fruitvale Station” that opened at Sundance, is expected to have a limited theatrical release next month. His flicks “Vipaka” and “Pawn” are both expected for release this year, however neither picture has a definitive release date. He takes on the role of the deranged client “Angel Sanchez” in “Vipaka” that also stars Anthony Mackie; and a policeman named “Will” in “Pawn” amidst cops and robbers – Common and Ray Liota also star. “The Butler,” scheduled for release on August 16th, takes a look at the life of “Cecil Gaines.” Eugene Allen in real life (photo of him to the left) the film spotlights his journey from mid-teens till his 90’s. Allen served eight presidents as the White House’s head butler from 1952 to 1986, and had a unique front-row seat as political and racial history was made. In addition to Winfrey, the movie also features Terrence Howard, Lenny Kravitz, David Oyelowo, Vanessa Redgrave, Alex Pettyfer and Cuba Gooding Jr. In addition to appearances by Alan Rickman as Ronald Reagan, Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan, Robin Williams as Dwight Eisenhower, Melissa Leo as Mamie Eisenhower, John Cusack as Richard Nixon, James Marsden as John F. Kennedy, Minka Kelly as Jackie Kennedy, Liev Schreiber as Lyndon B. Johnson, Orlando Eric Street as Barack Obama and Nelsan Ellis as Martin Luther King Jr.
His films “Zulu”, “Out of the Furnace” and “Black Nativity” are all lined up for theaters this fall. “Zulu” is the story of Ali Neuman who narrowly escaped being murdered by Inkhata as a child, a militant political party at war with Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress. Only he and his mother survived. He later becomes chief of the homicide branch of the South African police in Cape Town — Orlando Bloom also stars in the film. “Out of the Furnace” is the tale of “Russell Baze” who is released from prison, only to find that his younger brother has been brutally murdered. Baze, played by Christian Bale, then sets out to avenge the death by tracking down the killer. “Black Nativity,” based on Langston Hughes’ gospel musical re-telling of the Bible’s nativity story directed by Kasi Lemmons, also stars Jennifer Hudson, Angela Bassett, Vondie Curtis-Hall and Mary J. Blige. Samuel L. Jackson and Laurence Fishburne, both declined the role of “Reverend Cornell” that Whitaker said yes to, for ‘Nativity’.
Right now, Forest is shooting the movie “Enemy Way” with Harvey Keitel about a Muslim ex-con who forms a friendship with his parole officer.
In support of Forest Whitaker