Posted by | Ray Cornelius

RC has the latest in this week’s casting news from around Hollywood and beyond!

Oscar-winning actor Forest Whitaker is joining the cast of Kasi Lemmons’ “Black Nativity.”

The versatile actor co-stars with Angela Bassett and Jennifer Hudson in this retelling of the Langston Hughes’ Broadway gospel musical. Whitaker will play the male lead and is the husband of Bassett and the father of Hudson.  When RC posted the story back in July, Samuel L. Jackson was initially in talks to star in the role that is now being played by Whitaker.

Black Nativity  centers on a young black teen sent to Harlem to spend time with his estranged grandparents where he learns the meaning of faith and family. The film is set to go in production in 2013.

Former Law & Order  star S. Epatha Merkenson will play Meagan Good’s mother in the new NBC drama, Deception.  The show follows Good’s character, a detective who returns undercover to a wealthy family she grew up in – as the maid’s daughter – to solve the murder of the heiress who was once her best friend.

Merkerson will play Beverly Padget, the maid who worked for the family her daughter is now investigating.  Deception  also stars Laz Alonzo and debuts on NBC January 7 at 10pm following The Biggest Loser.

Wendell Pierce and Erika Alexander are slated to star alongside veteran actors Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer for the remake of the Argentinian film, Elsa and Fred.

Both Pierce and Alexander will support the lead characters. Elsa and Fred  centers on a retiree living in New Orleans with an unwanted neighbor who moves into her building only to fall in love with him.

The film also stars Marcia Gay Harden and plans to film in New Orleans and Rome. Principal photography begins this week.

Stay posted to RC as these and more stories develop!