FENCES Trailer

Talk about a project with some serious credentials. Having Denzel Washington and Viola Davis involved is enough to get most people hyped for a substantial drama, but Fences comes with much more behind it.

The film is based on the play of the same name by August Wilson, which in the ‘80s had James Earl Jones in the lead, won a slew of Tony Awards, and landed Wilson his first Pulitzer Prize for Drama. As part of Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle, the play is one of ten that sprawls across 20th century African American life, so you know, small scope.

Washington and Davis both headlined the play’s Broadway revival in 2010 and won their own Tony Awards for their performances. Washington proved so invested in the series that he’s not only directing and starring in this film version of Fences, but will also have a hand in bringing the other nine plays to HBO.

FENCES Trailer
source: Paramount Pictures

While Wilson passed away in 2005 without seeing Washington’s take on his material, having him lead this project would almost certainly have satisfied Wilson. The playwright was vocal about having a black director for the film adaptation, and several early attempts were derailed after Paramount Studios sought a series of white directors.

While the play has had a great impact, the stage will never have the same reach as film or television in our modern era. Washington’s efforts will bringing Fences and the rest of the Pittsburgh Cycle to a much broader audience, which is still sorely lacking in complex tales of African American life.

Fences is directed by Denzel Washington and stars Washington, Viola Davis, and Jovan Adepo. It will be released in the U.S. on December 25th, 2016. For international release dates, click here.

Do you think Fences will make a cultural impact? Let us know in the comments!

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