Movie News: Lee Daniels on The Butler, Anthony Mackie's New Role

The Gangster Squad star joins Bill Condon's WikiLeaks film.

Posted: 01/25/2013 11:30 AM EST

Joining the ranks of Hollywood's elite A-list may seem to elude Anthony Mackie, no matter how many high-profile roles he lands, but he'll have his best chance yet with a part in Dreamgirls director Bill Condon's new project The Fifth Estate

The film, based on controversial WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's rise to notoriety, also stars Sherlock hottie Benedict Cumberbatch as Assange and is scripted by The West Wing's Josh Singer. No word yet on the specifics of Mackie's role, but production began this week and the first photos have already started leaking to the Internet. 

Meanwhile, director Lee Daniels, who is still white-hot from the success of his film Precious and attention-grabbing The Paperboy, feels "muzzled" on his new film The Butler, mostly due to the studio mandate that the film maintain a PG-13 rating. 

"It's very un-Precious and un-Paperboy," Daniels laments of the film, about a White House butler who lasted eight presidential administrations. “I can’t go into my bag of tricks on this one: no urination, no baby falling down the stairs, no cursing at all," he tells the Hollywood Reporter. "We only have one ‘f***,’ which Lyndon Johnson gets. I felt like I directed the film in handcuffs and a muzzle.”

The Butler is Daniels' biggest and most expensive production to date, boasting a cast that goes from Forest Whitaker in the title role to Oprah Winfrey.

Currently in post-production, the film is due in theaters on Aug. 6. Daniels will be able to indulge his wild side with a number of other, less family-friendly projects on his slate, including a biopic of Janis Joplin and a television adaptation of Valley of the Dolls.


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  (Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

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