When the first trailer for The Revenant was released last year, it was immediately obvious that Leonardo DiCaprio was going to be nominated for an Oscar, if not win one. (Spoiler alert: He won, and now he can return to his home planet.) That same “this is going to be everywhere at the Academy Awards” feeling is also there for Fences. Denzel Washington isn’t as showy as DiCaprio, but even in a two-minute teaser trailer, he’s utterly captivating.
Set in the 1950s, Fences follows Troy Maxson, a former Negro League Baseball player who struggles to provide for his family as a waste collector. It’s based on August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name, which was revived in 2010 — it was nominated for 10 Tony Awards and won three: Best Revival of a Play, Best Actor in a Play (Washington), and Best Actress in a Play for Viola Davis, who will reprise her role in the film. The lived-in familiarity with the characters should help the big-screen transition.
If Washington gets his way — and Denzel Washington, the greatest actor of all-time, period, always gets his way — then Fences (which he also directed) will be the first of 10 movies based on Wilson’s plays that he’ll work on. “I’m really excited… that [the estate] would put that in my hands and trust me,” he said. “That’s good enough for me. It doesn’t get any better than that.” Fences is released into theaters on Dec. 25, 2016, exactly one year after The Revenant came out. I wonder if Troy or his son will be the one to fight the bear?