Forest Whitaker To Play Colin Powell In Upcoming Biopic

Forest Whitaker has carved out an impressive niche playing prominent African-American historical figures. Already we've seen him as South African dictator Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland, a variation of Eugene Allen in The Butler, a potential turn as Desmond Tutu in Roland Joffe's biopic, and eventually he'll play Martin Luther King Jr. in Paul Greengrass' Memphis. Whitaker's next attempt at playing someone famous could be his most controversial yet, because his subject is still very much in the news.

Buried in a Variety article about 10 Brits to Watch, and in a section dedicated to screenwriter Ed Whitworth, comes news that Whitaker will play former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell in Powell. This won't be a straight up biopic on Powell's life, either, as it will focus primarily on the case he made to the U.N. in support of war in Iraq,based on the phony notion that Iraq was hiding weapons of mass destruction. When the truth came out it tarnished Powell's reputation, and he's sought to distance himself from it ever since.

Whittaker will also produce the film, which has been kicking around for a couple of years after Whitworth's script made the Black List. Tackling unique moments in politics seems to be Whitworth's specialty, as he also penned Reyjavik about the 1986 summit meeting between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, with Michael Douglas and Christoph Waltz circling the leads.