Lee-Daniels'-The-Butler-PosterHeading into theatres this weekend in the US, Lee Daniels’ The Butler could well be one of the earliest Oscar contenders of the year, with The Weinstein Company switching its original October release date for a summer slot instead.

The move is something that TWC have also done with Fruitvale Station, tipped as an awards contender since its acclaimed debut at Sundance. And it will be interesting to see what they do in terms of campaigns for both films later this year and into the New Year.

With the film on the cusp of its theatrical release, The Weinstein Company have released a new trailer, giving another good look at what promises to be a compelling performance from leading man Forest Whitaker.

LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER tells the story of a White House butler who served eight American presidents over three decades. The film traces the dramatic changes that swept American society during this time, from the civil rights movement to Vietnam and beyond, and how those changes affected this man’s life and family.

Whitaker is joined by one of the most impressive ensembles of the year, led by Oprah Winfrey, John Cusack, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Jane Fonda, Alex Pettyfer, Terrence Howard, Lenny Kravitz, David Oyelowo, Melissa Leo, Vanessa Redgrave, Alan Rickman, Liev Schreiber, Robin Williams, James Marsden, Jesse Williams, Minka Kelly, and Mariah Carey.

Daniels (Precious) directs from a script he co-wrote with Danny Strong (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Game Change), based on the original article, A Butler Well Served by This Election, by Will Haygood.

Lee Daniels’ The Butler will be released in the US this Friday, August 16th. Still no word yet on a UK release date, but hopefully it will reach these shores before the year’s end, with plenty of time for BAFTA contention.

[yframe url=’www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VuiLQjU2u0′]