Denzel Washington is aiming for the “Fences” with his next project.
The “Flight” thesp is eyeing a film adaptation of the acclaimed August Wilson play as his next starring and directing vehicle, as he noted to Empire during a recent interview. Washington recently starred in a 12-week Broadway revival of the stage production opposite Viola Davis that earned him a Tony Award for Best Actor in 2010.
“It reawakened me about the work, and my commitment to the work,” he told Empire of taking on the role. “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 [the film version].”
The film would be Washington’s third directorial effort, after 2002’s “Antwone Fisher” and 2007’s “The Great Debaters.”
Set in the 1950s, “Fences” centers on 53-year-old Troy Maxon, an urban trash collector haunted by his unfulfilled dream of becoming a baseball star. The role was originated on Broadway by James Earl Jones, who himself won a Tony for Best Actor during the play’s initial 1987-88 run.
Speaking of awards, Washington is up for a Best Actor statuette at next month’s Oscars for his role in the Robert Zemeckis drama “Flight.” The big show is slated to air on Feb. 24.