Denzel Washington to direct August Wilson’s 10 plays

Los Angeles, Sep 18 (IANS) Actor-filmmaker Denzel Washington has announced that he will produce and direct 10 of Pulitzer prize-winning playwright August Wilson’s works in a deal with satellite television network HBO.

Washington mentioned the deal on Friday night to audiences at “An Evening With Denzel Washington” at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, reports hollywoodreporter.com.

“He did 10 plays. I’m directing and producing and acting in one (‘Fences’) and I’ve been given the opportunity by the August Wilson estate. I’m executive producing the other nine. I made a deal with HBO,” Washington said.

“I’m going to do one a year for the next nine years. I’m really excited that they put it in my hands,” he added.

The 60-year-old, who won a Tony award for starring in the 2010 broadway version of “Fences” with Viola Davis, mentioned that Davis will star in its film adaptation.

The film tells the story of a former baseball athlete who struggles to provide for his family as a trash collector in 1950s Pittsburgh after being denied to join the Lajor Leagues due to being African American.

James Earl Jones starred in the 1987 original production.

Wilson’s ten plays were collectively called the August Wilson Century Cycle, documenting the African American experience in the 20th century.

Each of the works explore race, art and religion in the 1900s, particularly racial tensions from the slavery and the Civil War that were felt by the African American middle class.

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