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Denzel Washington: August Wilson plays will be directed, produced by the actor for HBO

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Denzel Washington will be directing 10 and executive producing nine of August Wilson’s plays for HBO, the actor told the audience in a Q&A at the University of Southern California on Thursday. The two-time Oscar winner, who won a Tony Award for his performance in the 2010 Broadway revival of Wilson’s Fences, says he had made the arrangements with the Pulitzer-winning playwright’s estate to pursue the project for HBO. 

“I’m directing, producing — and acting in one [Fences] — and I’m executive producing the other nine,” he told interviewer Todd Boyd during the “An Evening With Denzel Washington” event. “I’m really excited about that — that [the estate] would put that in my hands and trust me. That’s good enough for me. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

Wilson’s 10 plays, collectively called the August Wilson Century Cycle, explored the African-American experience in the 20th century, including the effects of slavery and Civil War on the culture in the 1900s. In addition to the news of his directing and producing project, Washington said that Viola Davis — his costar in Fences — will act alongside him in the HBO version.

HBO representatives could not confirm Washington’s announcement to EW. Watch Washington’s full interview at USC in the livestream below:

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