VIDEO: Denzel Washington to Produce All 10 August Wilson Plays For HBO
During a live stream interview conducted by Dr. Todd Boyd at the Wallis Performing Arts Center in Beverly Hills, two-time Oscar and Tony Award-winning actor/filmmaker Denzel Washington announced he'll be producing the entirety of August Wilson's 10-play American Century Cycle for HBO.
"He did 10 plays," said the actor of the legendary playwright. "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 had been previously announced to be directing, producing and starring in August Wilson's FENCES, the play for which he won his Tony Award, for the cable network. It will be followed by one play per year.
One of the great achievement in American theatre, Wilson's cycle consists of 10 plays depicting African-American life in the 20th Century, one play for each decade.
In chronological order of the decades covered, the cycle's plays include GEM OF THE OCEAN, JOE TURNER'S COME AND GONE, MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM, THE PIANO LESSON, SEVEN GUITARS, FENCES, TWO TRAINS RUNNING, JITNEY, KING HEDLEY II and RADIO GOLF.
Washington has received much critical acclaim for his film work since the 1990s, including his portrayals of real-life figures such as South African anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko in Cry Freedom (1987), Muslim minister and human rights activist Malcom X in Malcom X (1992), boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter in The Hurricane (1999), football coach Herman Boone in Remember the Titans (2000), poet and educator Melvin B. Tolson in The Great Debaters (2007), and drug kingpin Frank Lucas in American Gangster (2007). He has been a featured actor in the films produced byJerry Bruckheimer and has been a frequent collaborator of directors Spike Lee and the late Tony Scott.