The trailer for Lee Daniels' historical drama, The Butler, has just been released and finds the erstwhile talk-show queen and Oscar winner joining forces for an intimate look at life inside the White House from a distinctly African-American point of view—before the rise of Barack Obama.
As the teaser reveals, The Butler unfolds through the eyes of Cecil Gaines (Whitaker), a real-life steward who served seven sitting U.S. presidents starting with Dwight D. Eisenhower on up until his retirement in 1986 working for Ronald Reagan.
Along the way, we get glimpses of Cecil's childhood growing up on a cotton farm, his journey to find himself and discovering his new career. But more importantly, we witness four tumultuous decades of U.S. history, most notably the Civil Rights era and all the conflict that came with it, including the Freedom Riders, the Black Power movement, and the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
Winfrey plays the butler's wife, Gloria, who has issues with her and Cecil's radical son, Louis Gaines, played by Lincoln's David Oyelowo.
The Butler costars John Cusack as Richard Nixon, Alan Rickman as Reagan, Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan, Liev Schreiber as Lyndon B. Johnson, Robin Williams as Eisenhower and James Marsden as John F. Kennedy.
The Butler hits theaters on Oct. 18, 2013. Don't forget to bring a hanky.