Viola Davis and Denzel Washington on the last day of filming "Fences"
Viola Davis and Denzel Washington on the last day of filming “Fences”

A film that’s on my list of potential Oscar nominees for 2017, Denzel Washington’s adaptation of August Wilson’s “Fences,” is, as expected, getting an awards-season release date, as Paramount, the studio behind the picture, has set an initial limited theatrical opening in New York and Los Angeles on December 16, followed by a nationwide roll-out on December 25, Christmas Day.

The film completed filming a month ago, and is now in post-production.

Paramount fast-tracked the project into production earlier this year in order to get it ready for a fall 2016 theatrical release, in time for Academy Awards consideration. Keep in mind that this film adaptation of “Fences” isn’t part of the deal that Washington has with HBO, which will see him bring to the small screen, Wilson’s American Century Cycle series (minus “Fences”), which consists of 10 plays portraying the 20th century African American experience, from the early 1900s, just after slavery and the Civil War, to the 1990s.

Washington and Davis are reprising the roles they played in the Broadway revival of “Fences” that was directed by Kenny Leon, both giving strong performances that would earn them the highest honor in the theatre world, the Tony Award for Best Actor and Best Actress in a Play. Could they be in contention for similar honors (Best Actor and Best Actress Academy Awards) in 2017? First, they’ll have to be nominated of course. And there’s certainly a possibility of that happening given the talent in front of and behind the screen (including the man who created the source material, the late August Wilson).

Joining Washington and Viola Davis (as Troy and Rose Maxson) in front of the camera are: Mykelti Williamson, Russell Hornsby, Jovan Adepo and Saniyya Sidne.

Scott Rudin is producing the film which Paramount is backing, and award-winning playwright and writer Tony Kushner worked with Denzel Washington to script. They essentially rewrote August Wilson’s own draft from many years ago.

So now we wait for the film adaptation’s first trailer! Given how quick they’re working, it could happen in a matter of a few weeks.