Whitaker Joins Washington’s Debaters

Oscar winner Forest Whitaker is in final talks to team with Denzel Washington for The Weinstein Company’s “The Great Debaters”.

Washington will also direct the period drama which chronicles the true story of professor Melvin B. Tolson (Washington), who formed a debate team at a small black college in the 1930s.

The team went on to beat Harvard in the national debate championships. Whitaker will play the father of one of the debaters and a rival to Washington’s character.

Robert Eisele wrote the screenplay and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks penned a rewrite. Oprah Winfrey serves as one of the producers, and the film is scheduled to begin shooting in mid-May in Louisiana.