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LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Oscar winner Forest Whitaker will star in CBS' potential "Criminal Minds" spinoff.
The project, which revolves around a new group of profilers who work outside the FBI bureaucracy, will be introduced on an episode of "Criminal Minds" in the spring.
Whitaker will play Cooper, the leader of the squad. Described as a dynamic, mysterious, charming and a father figure to the rest of the team, he is a former star profiler in the Behavioral Unit, who has been off the radar for the last eight years.
"Criminal Minds" executive producer Chris Mundy, a former writer at Rolling Stone, wrote the planted spinoff, from a story he originated with "Minds" executive producer/showrunner Ed Bernero. The producers zeroed in on Whitaker early on and finally locked him in Monday.
On TV, Whitaker most recently did memorable turns on FX's "The Shield" and NBC's "ER." After winning an Oscar for playing Idi Amin in 2006's "The Last King of Scotland," Whitaker appeared on the big screen in such films as "Vantage Point" and "Street Kings."