Fences is a hell of a play. No question about it. But how will it fare as Denzel Washington's latest directorial effort? Pretty damn well, if the first trailer is any indication. Washington's take on the award-winning 1983 play stars Viola Davis and Washington himself as Rose and Troy Maxson, a married couple in 1950s Pittsburgh who share a son together, Cory (Jovan Adepo).
Both Washington and Davis bagged Tony awards back in 2010 for their performances in the stage version of Fences, August Wilson's story of a retired baseball player struggling with the complexities of raising a family. In fact, Washington previously revealed that he wanted to helm a film version of Fences well before even thinking about starring in the critically revered play.
"[Fences] reawakened me about the work, and my commitment to the work," Washington told Empire way back in 2013. "I said to myself: 'I've got to dig deeper'. The reason I did Fences is that Scott Rudin sent me the script August Wilson wrote—the only one of his plays that he wrote as a screenplay—to act and direct. I really do want to direct this."
Davis echoed Washington's assessment that the story is challenging for its performers, telling IndieWire in July that Fences stands as part of a turning point in her career. "With the movie Fences, now I'm No. 2 on the call sheet, next to Washington," Davis said. "I'm there every day. I'm in every scene. I'm battling it out, I have a huge arc, and now all of a sudden, I feel alive in a way that I didn't before. But there was certainly a time in my career, many many years, where I was not challenged."
Fences opens Dec. 25.