The movie is based on a Washington Post article written about Eugene Allen, a black butler who worked in the White House for 34 years, rising from a starting job in the pantry.
The project will be directed by Lee Daniels, who previously helmed Precious.
Variety also reports that Forest Whitaker is close to a deal to play Allen, with Oprah Winfrey negotiating to play his wife.
Liam Neeson and John Cusack are also apparently keen to be involved, as presidents Lyndon B Johnson and Richard Nixon.
English actor David Oyelowo is in talks to play the son of Allen, who worked under eight different US presidents.
Jane Fonda recently said that the current crop of Republican presidential candidates "scare" her.