Denzel Washington Will Bring All 10 August Wilson Century Cycle Plays to HBO, Starring in Fences

News   Denzel Washington Will Bring All 10 August Wilson Century Cycle Plays to HBO, Starring in Fences
 
Broadway vet and two-time Oscar winner Denzel Washington has announced that he will direct and act in a screen adaptation of August Wilson's Fences for HBO, the same play that won him a Tony Award for Best Actor in 2010. According to the Hollywood Reporter, fellow Tony winner and Fences co-star Viola Davis will also be featured in the film.

The news was revealed during An Evening With Denzel Washington & Dr. Todd Boyd at the Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts Sept. 17. Watch parts of the interview here

Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington Photo by Joan Marcus

The star also announced that he will produce an additional nine of Pulitzer winner Wilson's plays for HBO. "He did 10 plays. I've been given the opportunity by the August Wilson estate. I'm directing and producing and acting in one (Fences) and I'm executive producing the other nine. I made a deal with HBO," Washington is quoted in THR.

"We're going to do one a year for the next nine years. I'm really excited about that. That that they put it in my hands, the estate, and trust me. That's good enough for me. It doesn't get any better than that."

"His stories are specifically African American stories, but the themes are universal," said Washington. "Families, love, betrayal whatever the theme is. People relate and enjoy listening to or seeing his work. He was just a bright, brilliant shining light who was here and then he was gone, but his work will live forever to be interpreted by actors and directors for as long as we're here."

Wilson's body of work was collectively called the August Wilson Century Cycle and is considered an examination of the African American experience in the last century. When host Boyd asked him why he continued to return to the stage alongside his successful film career, Washington replied, "it's just the energy."

"I started on the stage, I prefer the stage. The reason that I stopped doing theatre in New York is because we had four children and I couldn't commute, doing eight shows a week. So I put it down until the kids got old enough."

Would he do do theatre all the time? "No," replied Washington. "It don't pay. It's called show business, it should be called, business show...I'm joking," he said. "No, I'm not," he laughed.

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