Denzel Washington’s ‘Fences’ Gets Awards Season Release Date

Denzel Washington, Inner City


Denzel Washington’s “Fences” has been given a huge boost of confidence in the form of a release date in the heart of awards season. Paramount has announced the film will have a limited showing in Los Angeles and New York December 16, and will open wide on Dec. 25.

Washington directed, produced and starred in the film, which is a screen adaptation of the play “Fences” for Paramount Pictures. Viola Davis is also set to star in the film.

Davis and Washington both won Tony Awards for their performances in the 2010 revival of the play, which was written by August Wilson and first debuted in 1983. The original play won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 1987 Tony Award for Best Play. The 2010 revival also won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play.

“Fences” centers on a one-time promising baseball player (Washington) who now works as a Pittsburgh garbage collector. Per IMDB, the film is about “an African American father who struggles with race relations in the United States while trying to raise his family in the 1950s and coming to terms with the events of his life.”

Wilson adapted the play for the screen before his death in 2005. It is rumored that Wilson was approached for the project in the ‘80s, but refused to write the adaptation unless a black director was hired.

Christopher Mele, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson, Jovan Adepo and Saniyya Sidney all appear in the film as well.

“Fences” will be Washington’s third film as director. He previously helmed the films “The Great Debaters” and “Antwone Fisher.”  Washington won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the 1989 film, “Glory,” as well as Best Actor for 2001’s “Training Day.”  Davis has been nominated for two Academy Awards: one for Best Supporting Actress for “Doubt,” and another for Best Actress for “The Help.”