SHORT CUTS: Washington Joins "Patriots" | Entertainment |

SHORT CUTS: Washington Joins "Patriots" | Entertainment |

Published July 23, 2008

Posted April 22, 2008 -- Isaiah Washington is back on the big screen in his first major feature film role since exiting "Grey's Anatomy" in June, reports Hollywood Reporter.

Washington will star opposite Forest Whitaker in "Patriots," the Weinstein Co.'s sports drama being directed by Tim Story.

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Also joining the cast are Taraji P. Henson, Robbie Jones, Jackie Long, Eric Hill, Bow Wow, Lil' Wayne, Irma Hall, Jarod Einsohn, J.B. Smoove and Chyna McClain.

Based on a true story, "Patriots" is set in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when Al Collins, a high school basketball coach in Marrero, La., assembled a team of players who previously attended five different schools and led them on the path to the state championships. Washington will play an assistant coach at John Ehret High who helps lead the squad.

Dunbar Directs "Pastor"

Rockmond Dunbar, best known for his role in Showtime's "Soul Food" TV series, is making the leap into producing and directing with the indie drama "Pastor Brown."

Now filming in Atlanta, "Pastor," penned by Rhonda Freeman-Baraka, is a twist on the prodigal son story. It follows a wayward pastor's daughter, Jesse Brown, as she returns from a life as an exotic dancer to make amends with her family and teen son and eventually lead her father's parish, becoming Pastor Brown.

Dunbar also stars in the film as Amir, a Muslim man who becomes the love interest of Brown, played by Salli Richardson Whitfield ("I Am Legend").

Rounding out the cast are Nicole Ari Parker, Keith David, Michael B. Jordan and Michael Beach. Tisha Campbell-Martin, Tasha Smith, Dondre T. Whitfield and Ernie Hudson also star. The film also features guest appearances by R&B singers Monica, Angie Stone and India.Arie as well as former Olympic track star Carl Lewis and Oakley. 

The project marks Rock Capital Films' first foray into feature film production.

Another Cruise Hits Hollywood

Connor Cruise, adopted African American son of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, will make his film debut in the upcoming Will Smith drama Seven Pounds, according to People.

Connor, 13 – who has grown up around movie sets – will play a young version of Smith in a very minor role. Even with such famous acting mentors in his corner, Connor had to audition for the part.

"Tom is so proud of Connor," says a source. "He's proud of him for really doing this on his own."

The Columbia Pictures film, which is still in production, also costars Woody Harrelson and Rosario Dawson.



Written by BET-Staff


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