According to The Hollywood Reporter, multihyphenate Forest Whitaker has joined the cast of "The Shield" as a regular for the FX police drama's upcoming fifth season, set to bow in January.
Whitaker will play Detective Jon Kavanaugh, an ambitious newcomer to the Los Angeles Police Department's Internal Affairs division who is tasked with investigating rogue cop Mackey, played by series star Michael Chiklis, and the strike force he leads.
Whitaker was pursued for "Shield" duty by series creator and executive producer Shawn Ryan.
"He's going to be a great foil for the guys on our show," Ryan said. "Forest has always impressed me with his range. He's got an incredible sweetness and soulfulness but also strength. It's a rare combination for an actor and that appealed to me with this character."
Whitaker is committing to series TV at a time when his schedule already is overflowing with feature projects. He recently was onscreen at the Toronto International Film Festival in the indies "American Gun," which he also produced, "Mary" and "Little Trip to Heaven." He also has taken on the role of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the upcoming Fox Searchlight political thriller "The Last King of Scotland."
Whitaker was feted this month with a tribute to his work as an actor, director and producer at the 31st annual Deauville Festival of American Cinema in France.
"Shield," a co-production of Fox Television Studios and Sony Pictures TV, wrapped a strong fourth season in June that was highlighted by the addition of Glenn Close as Mackey's boss, Capt. Monica Rawlings. Ryan said that the character of Kavanaugh "will present the biggest danger to Vic and his team in the history of the series so far."
Whitaker's recent TV work as an actor includes Showtime's "Deacons for the Defense," and he was host of UPN's short-lived revival of "The Twilight Zone" in 2002.
Whitaker is repped by CAA, the Collective and attorney Phil Davis.