Elise, Parker join ‘Debaters’

Winfrey-produced film stars Washington

Kimberly Elise and Nate Parker have joined “The Great Debaters,” Denzel Washington’s period tale for the Weinstein Co. now lensing in Louisiana.

Elise (TV’s “Close to Home”) plays the wife of Forest Whitaker in the pic, about an East Texas debate team that challenges Harvard in the 1930s, and Parker plays their son, the star debater on the team. Washington is directing and plays the coach (Daily Variety, April 12).

Oprah Winfrey and Kate Forte are producing through their Harpo films shingle along with Todd Black and Joe Roth. Robert Elise wrote the screenplay based on a true story.

Elise and Parker both recently appeared in “Pride.” One of Elise’s first bigscreen roles was in “Beloved” opposite Winfrey.

Elise is represented by Paradigm and managed by Untitled Entertainment. Parker is represented by Paradigm and managed by Simmons and Scott Entertainment.

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