A film that’s long been 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.
MACRO, Bron Studios and Scott Rudin Productions are producers of “Fences,” which Paramount is distributing.
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?
For Washington, yes; but for Davis, as Sergio previously reported on this blog, she’ll instead be among the Best Supporting Actress nominees, not Best (Lead) Actress. Although, for both actors in their respective categories, following early press and industry screenings of the film that begun late last month, they have become the frontrunners not just to be nominated, but to win outright!
The film screened on November 5 for SAG-AFTRA members, and was followed immediately by a Q&A featuring the cast, Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Jovan Adepo, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson and Saniyya Sidney, in a conversation that was moderated by Jenelle Riley of Variety. Running at almost 47 minutes, the entire Q&A was videotaped and has now been uploaded to the SAG-AFTRA YouTube account this evening. Watch it in full below: