Forest Whitaker is in early talks to board Lee Daniels' upcoming white house drama, The Butler.

The film follows Eugene Allen, a black man who worked as butler in the White House, serving eight presidents from 1952 to 1986. The Butler started at the White House as a "pantry man" in 1952, when blacks weren't allowed to use public restrooms in his native Virginia. He ended up serving eight presidents and had a unique front-row seat as political and racial history was made, from the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

The actor will play Eugene, while David Oyelowo is negotiating to play his son. Oprah Winfrey is rumored to be interested in playing his wife, while other Hollywood vets such as Hugh Jackman, Liam Neeson and Mila Kunis are eyeing the roles of other real-life figures.