Denzel Washington was forced to star in new movie THE GREAT DEBATERS after he was told it would be a flop if he stayed behind the camera. Washington only signed to direct and produce the real-life story of a all-black Texas college's champion debating team, who challenged the great minds of Harvard University in 1935 - but studio bosses warned him it would struggle without a star on screen. He says, "(They said), `It could get more money if I was in it.' And it just wasn't going to be enough money if I wasn't in it."