Paramount has staked out a date in the heart of awards season to launch the big-screen version of August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize- and Tony-winning play Fenceswhich Denzel Washington is directing and starring in alongside Viola Davis, Mykelti Williamson and Russell Hornsby. Fences will open December 16 in New York and Los Angeles and get a wide break on Christmas Day.

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Washington and Davis reprise their Broadway roles as Troy and Rose Maxson, for which both won Tony Awards in 2010. Williamson and Hornsby also returns to their respective Main Stem roles as Gabriel Maxson and Lyons Maxson. Wilson adapted his play for the screen. Scott Rudin and Todd Black are producing the movie with Washington for Paramount Pictures. Fences examines race relations and follows Troy, who had his eye set on being a baseball great, but whose days have been relegated to trash collecting. Troy lives with his wife, son Cory and his younger brother Gabriel, an ex-soldier whose war injury to his head has caused him psychological damage. Lyons is a musician and Troy’s son from a previous relationship.