Denzel Washington‘s upcoming screen adaptation of August Wilson’s beloved play Fences has snagged an awards friendly release date. The film, which Washington both stars in and directs and co-stars Viola Davis (The Help), will open in theaters this December. Paramount Pictures, the film’s distributor, will first open on December 16th in New York and Los Angeles, followed by wide expansion on Christmas Day.
The pedigree on the project is particular impressive. Washington and Davis are reprising their Tony winning roles from an acclaimed 2010 Broadway revival with Scott Rudin producing. Mykelti Williamson and Russell Hornsby are also reprising their roles from the 2010 revival. First time screenwriter August Wilson is adapting the play.
Fences tells the story of Troy Maxson (Washington), a former Negro League baseball player and current garbage man who reflects on past regrets (including a chance to play Major League baseball) while grappling with family concerns and race relations in 1950s Pittsburgh. The original stage production of Fences, which starred James Earl Jones as Troy, won both the Pulitzer Prize and the Tony Award for Best Play in 1987.
The film wrapped production about a month ago. Washington previously directed Antwone Fisher (which featured Davis is supporting role) and The Great Debaters.