Just For Fun: Conservative Bloggers Already Pissed About Jane Fonda Playing Nancy Reagan for Lee Daniels’s ‘The Butler’

“Yes, the same Jane Fonda who has been described as a communist, was part of the “F” the Army too and is an enemy sympathizer.”

“Perhaps Fonda will be perfect at mangling history on film, since she’s certainly done that in real life.”

“Of all people Hollywood could haven chosen to portray Nancy Reagan in a new film, they come up with Jane Fonda. It’s like they’re trying to offend half of America before the movie is even made. ”

“Arch-liberals Fonda and [John] Cusack playing a pair of major figures on the Right? Conservatives should stock up on antacids starting … now.”

That’s, News Busters, The Lonely Conservative and in response to the Variety story that writer/director Lee Daniels (Precious) has hired Jane Fonda to play Nancy Reagan for his new movie The Butler, which follow the story of Eugene Allen, a White House butler who served under eight, count ’em, eight presidents during his career.

Appropriately, people who care about the portrayal of Conservative royalty like Reagan are up in arms, and the move does in fact reek of stunt casting. However, for a real strange trip into the human mind, the comment sections of those articles are the way to go because things get really nasty. It’s hard to tell if I’m reading things right, but apparently Fonda joining the cast is John Kerry’s fault because they single-handedly lost the Vietnam War and peed on a bunch of veterans.

So it’s sort of like when Georgia Rule and Monster-in-Law came out.

At any rate, Fonda will play a small role in the movie, but the publicity is already won. As for the potential here, it’s all sort of silly. Fonda isn’t exactly a great acting presence; her Oscar winning days are decades behind her, and her recent slate of appearances has been stuffed with bad movies and bad acting turns. Of course, this is offset a bit by the possibility of John Cusack playing Richard Nixon and Liam Neeson playing Lyndon B. Johnson.

Those deals aren’t finalized yet (and the movie doesn’t have financing or anything yet either) but, hot damn does all of this sound stagey as hell. It could possibly have the nuance of high art, but so far it sounds like a dreadfully unfunny Funny Or Die sketch. There’s an opportunity for sentimentality here considering the subject matter, but “and Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan” has even greater potential to shipwreck and overshadow the whole thing.

What say you?

A veteran of writing about movies for nearly a decade, Scott Beggs has been the Managing Editor of Film School Rejects since 2009. Despite speculation, he is not actually Walter Mathau's grandson. See? He can't even spell his name right.

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