Whitaker Boards Washington’s Debaters

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Forest Whitaker will star alongside Denzel Washington in The Great Debaters, a fact-based drama that Washington will direct next month in Louisiana for The Weinstein Company, says Variety.

Oprah Winfrey and Kate Forte are producing through Harpo Films, along with Todd Black and Joe Roth. Robert Eisele penned the script, inspired by a true story.

Washington will play a volatile coach who molds a group of students from a small college in East Texas into an elite debate team that challenges Harvard’s championship squad in the 1930s.

Whitaker will play the father of one of the students, who finds himself competing with the debate coach for the loyalties of his son.