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Forest Whitaker to Headline 'Criminal Minds' Spin-Off

January 26, 2010 (7:22 am) GMT
The actor has been booked a regular job on television, playing a loyal leader who profiles criminals outside FBI bureaucracy.
Forest Whitaker

After reportedly a lengthy on- and off- negotiations, is in final stages to star in a spin-off to "". His character, named Cooper, will be introduced in an episode of "Criminal Minds" later this season and go on headlining a new unit which makes the basis of the not-yet-titled project.

Cooper is described as a dynamic, loyal, charming, mysterious squad leader who also becomes a fatherly figure to the team members. Together with other profilers, Cooper works outside FBI bureaucracy. He is actually a former member of Behavioral Unit but he has been off the grid in the past eight years, leaving questions and mystery surrounding his absence.

The spin-off is another project by "Criminal Minds" exec producer Chris Mundy who works together with fellow producer Ed Bernero. Beside starring, Whitaker is also expected to be credited as producer.

Should the Monday, January 25 negotiation went smoothly, then this would be Whitaker's first regular gig since his role as Jon Kavanaugh on "".

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