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Donald Sutherland will fight alongside Wesley Snipes and Marie Matiko in WB’s actioner “The Art of War.”

Snipes plays a U.N. operative framed for the murder of a Chinese ambassador, now fighting to clear his name. Sutherland will play a U.N. secretary general. “War” is being produced by Nicolas Clermont through his Montreal-based Filmline Intl. Elie Samaha, Dan Halsted and Snipes serve as exec producers. Samaha’s Franchise Pictures is handling foreign sales while Motion Intl. holds Canadian rights.

Sutherland is currently shooting Clint Eastwood’s “Space Cowboys” and will accompany the legiter “Enigma Variations,” which opened this summer at the Mark Taper Forum, to Broadway next year.The actor is repped by CAA.

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Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson (August Wilson’s “Seven Guitars”) is going retro with the cast of Paramount’s “Shaft” starring Samuel L. Jackson. Santiago-Hudson will play a detective who, along with his sidekick, pose as concerned, law abiding cops. The actor’s credits include Taylor Hackford’s “Devil’s Advocate” and “Blown Away” with Jeff Bridges. Santiago-Hudson is repped by Steven Hirsh at the Gersh Agency.

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Mike Epps is joining the cast of the Castle Rock action-comedy “Bait.” Pic, to be helmed by the recently installed Antoine Fuqua (“Replacement Killers”), and starring Jamie Foxx, centers on a guy unwittingly used by the FBI as human bait in order to draw out a master criminal. Lensing will begin next month with Tony Gilroy and Jaime King exec producing. Sean Ryerson serves as producer. Epps has recently wrapped New Line’s “Next Friday.”

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Bill Smitrovich has been added to the cast of the Beacon/New Line pic “Thirteen Days.”

Kevin Costner stars as President Kennedy’s (Bruce Greenwood) advisor in the film about the Cuban Missile Crisis. Smitrovich will take on the role of head of the joint chiefs of staff.

Smitrovich is currently working on A&E’s “Nero Wolfe” starring Maury Chakin and Timothy Hutton and also appeared in “The ’60s.” His feature credits include “Air Force One” and “Ghosts of Mississippi.”

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