Denzel Washington has revealed that he’s set to produce ten telemovie adaptations of Pulitzer prize-winning playwright August Wilson’s plays for HBO.
Revealing the news at a Q&A event at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Washington says:
“He did 10 plays. I’ve been given the opportunity by the August Wilson estate. I’m directing and producing and acting in one (‘Fences’) and I’m executive producing the other nine. I made a deal with HBO.
We’re going to do one a year for the next nine years. I’m really excited about that. That that they put it in my hands, the estate, and trust me. That’s good enough for me. It doesn’t get any better than that.”
Collectively called the August Wilson Century Cycle, the plays deal with the African American experience in the 20th century, particularly racial tensions felt by the African American middle class.
Viola Davis will star in the “Fences” adaptation. That follows a former baseball athlete who struggles to provide for his family in 1950s Pittsburgh after being denied to join the Major Leagues due to being African American.
The other nine are “Gem of the Ocean,” “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone,” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” “The Piano Lesson,” “Seven Guitars,” “Two Trains Running,” “Jitney,” “King Hedley II,” and “Radio Golf”.