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Fences movie: Denzel Washington to direct and star in August Wilson adaptation

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After winning a Tony for his role in the 2010 Broadway revival of Fences, Denzel Washington is bringing August Wilson’s play to the big screen.

Paramount Pictures has announced that Washington will both direct Fences and star alongside his former costar Viola Davis (who also won a Tony for her role in the Broadway revival).

The Pulitzer Prize-winning play follows a once promising baseball player who now works as a garbage collector in Pittsburgh. Stephen Henderson, Russell Horsnby, Mykelti Williamson, Jovan Adepo, and Saniyya Sydney round out the ensemble cast. Paramount, Bron Studios, and MACRO are co-financing the project.

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“This important and beloved play has been a passion of Denzel’s for many years and it is with great excitement that we embark together to bring his dream project to the big screen,” Paramount chairman and CEO Brad Grey said in a statement.

This marks Washington’s third directorial effort, after The Great Debaters in 2007 and Antwone Fisher in 2002. Last year, Washington said he planned to bring Fences to HBO as part of a 10-part collection of Wilson’s plays, after making arrangements with the writer’s estate.

Fences is set to begin shooting in Pittsburgh at the end of April.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post misidentified the writer of the Fences adaptation

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