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Lee Daniels Picks His Butler: Forest Whitaker

Forest Whitaker won the Best Actor Oscar for his transformative performance in 2006's The Last King in Scotland, but since then, Whitaker hasn't found another big-screen role of that caliber, and his most recent high-profile credit was leading a canceled spinoff of Criminal Minds. Now, though, Whitaker may be ready for a comeback: Variety reports that director Lee Daniels is negotiating with him for the plum title role in The Butler, a generations-spanning true tale about Eugene Allen, a White House butler who served eight consecutive U.S. Presidents. What's more, Oprah Winfrey is in early talks to play Allen's wife. Talk about a first lady!

Photo: Cliff Lipson/© 2010 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.