Jane Fonda is in negotiations to play Nancy Reagan in a forthcoming film.

The 74-year-old actress - who was once a vocal advocate for civil rights - has been in talks with 'Precious' director Lee Daniels to portray the wife of former US President Ronald Reagan in several scenes of a movie about White House butler Eugene Allen entitled 'The Butler'.

Forest Whitaker is thought to be close to signing a deal to portray Eugene - who worked for eight US presidents during his time as an employee, starting with Harry Truman in 1952 and ending in 1986 with Ronald - and Oprah Winfrey has been in discussions to play his wife, Variety reports.

Liam Neeson and John Cusack are being lined up to play presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon in the movie, which is set to be produced by Pamela Williams and Hilary Shor, and producers are hoping to start working on the motion picture in summer.