James joins cast members Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Liev Schreiber and Rachel McAdams. Tom McCarthy will direct.
The script is by McCarthy and Josh Singer.
James will play Boston Globe reporter Matty Carroll, a member of the Spotlight team.
James is a two-time Tony nominee for the title role in Shrek the Musical and Sweet Smell of Success. His stage credits also include Giant, Time Stands Still, Titanic and Macbeth. He has appeared on "Smash," "The Good Wife" and "The Big C."