Casting News: Terrence Howard, Jada Pinkett Smith Land Roles

Plus, Denzel Washington's son lands first starring role.

Posted: 02/20/2014 08:45 AM EST
Terrence Howard, Jada Pinkett Smith

Jada Pinkett Smith is bringing a big dose of A-list star power to Gotham, the hour-long drama series based on DC Comics characters. Pinkett Smith will play a character named Fish Mooney, a sadistic gangster boss and nightclub owner with street smarts and almost extra-sensory abilities to read people like an open book. The actress joins Ben Mackenzie, Donal Logue and Zabryna Guevara for the series.

In other television news, Terrence Howard will team up with his The Butler director Lee Daniels and writer Danny Strong, along with A-list producer Brian Grazer, for the series Empire. The show is about a family-run hip hop empire. Howard will play Lucious Lyon, a charismatic but tough chief of a record label titled Empire Entertainment, which is on the verge of an IPO.

Speaking of the family business, Denzel Washington's eldest son is getting in on it. John David Washington, 29, has landed his first starring role in the HBO series Ballers. The half-hour dramedy, starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, centers on the happenings of retired athletes living in Miami. Washington, who goes by J.D., will play Ricky, a competitive and highly spiritual jock. The role is tailor-made for the former athlete, who had a brief stint in the NFL before an injury sent him looking for a new line of work. Looks like he's found it.

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(Photos from left:  J. Countess/Getty Images, Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for The Weinstein Company)

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