Entertainment & Arts

Washington to direct and star in film of Broadway play Fences

Denzel Washington
Image caption Washington played the lead role in a multiple award-winning revival of Fences on Broadway

Two-time Academy Award winner Denzel Washington is to direct and star in a film adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony-winning play Fences.

Washington and co-star Viola Davis will reprise the roles they won Tonys for in a revival of the play on Broadway in 2010, according to Variety magazine.

The 1987 August Wilson play explores race relations in 1950s America.

Paramount Pictures' Brad Grey said the "important and beloved" work had "been a passion of Denzel's for many years".

It will be Washington's third time as director, following his 2002 debut Antwone Fisher and 2007's The Great Debaters.

Image copyright AP
Image caption The Help and How To Get Away With Murder star Viola Davis will co-star with Washington

The film, which centres on the relationships between Troy - an ex-baseball player who is now a rubbish collector - and his family and friends, is due to begin shooting in Pittsburgh later this month.

The story was one of 10 written by Wilson for his Pittsburgh Cycle, each of which documented the experience of black Americans in a different decade on the 20th Century.

A 2013 revival in the UK saw Sir Lenny Henry take the lead role to wide critical acclaim.

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