Now becoming the meeting point of two Oscar-winning talents, "The Great Debaters" has satisfyingly submitted Forest Whitaker into its cast lineup alongside Denzel Washington, who finally jumps in to also star in this feature directorial effort of him, The Hollywood Reporter has revealed.
Based on the true story of professor Melvin B. Tolson, the picture follows the man as he formed an all-black debate team who rose up to challenge Harvard's best in 1935. While Washington will portray Tolson, Whitaker is said to get billed as the father of one of the debaters and a rival to the professor.
Production is slated to start around mid-May in Louisiana with Washington also producing alongside Kate Forte, Todd Black, Joe Roth, and Oprah Winfrey, who is carrying out the duty via her Harpo Films. Script initially was penned by TV scribe Robert Eisele before getting a rewrite by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks.