Denzel Washington Offered Film Version of Fences

News   Denzel Washington Offered Film Version of Fences
Denzel Washington, star of the upcoming Broadway revival of Fences, told an audience at a New York Times-sponsored "Times Talk" March 31 that producers initially approached him with an offer to star in a film version of the Pulitzer Prize-winning August Wilson drama.
Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington

Washington, who appeared at the talk with co-star Viola Davis, told the audience that he reacted to the offer by going back and reading Wilson's 1987 stage drama. Afterward, he says, he told the producers, "I want to do the play…first."

Washington gave no further details on when such a film would be shot and did not name a director.

Playwright Wilson famously refused a Hollywood offer to film Fences because producers would not meet his demand that it be helmed by an African-American director.

In the meantime, the Broadway version is scheduled to begin previews April 14 at the Cort Theatre, directed by Kenny Leon.

Fences is the 1987 Pulitzer Prize and Tony-winning play by Wilson — one play in a cycle of ten about the African-American experience in the 20th century.

Fences takes place over eight years from 1957 to 1965. Washington stars as Troy Maxson, a Pittsburgh sanitation worker who once dreamed of a baseball career, but was too old when the major leagues finally admitted black players. According to production notes, "As he faces off against the racial barrier at work and his own disappointments, Troy also grapples with his son, Cory, over the teenager's hope for a football scholarship and with his wife, Rose (Viola Davis), who confronts Troy over a child he has fathered with another woman."

Fences is produced by Carole Shorenstein Hays (who produced the original Broadway production) and Scott Rudin. Visit

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