Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Denzel Washington Is Going to Have a Heck of a Fall Season with “Magnificent 7” and “Fences”


The fall season is about to spring upon us, and a few people will be highlighted.

My money is on Denzel Washington, who has two big hits coming to bookend the season.

Denzel stars in Antoine Fuqua’s “The Magnificent Seven,” opening the Toronto Film Festival on September 8th, and then opening in theatres everywhere on September 23rd.

Washington heads up an all star cast that includes Peter Sarsgaard, Ethan Hawke, Chris Pratt, Haley Bennett, Vincent D’Onofrio, and Luke Grimes. The buzz is very strong from early screenings. While some remakes like “Ben Hur” have collapsed at the box office, “M7” looks like a winner.

But wait– there’s more for Denzel. His film adaptation of August Wilson’s “Fences” comes in December. Washington directs himself and Viola Davis in the main roles, with Russell Hornsby. Denzel already knows his way around “Fences,” having staged it himself on Broadway with Viola, who won a Tony Award for Best Actress. “Fences” the movie is an Oscar certainty.

Remember– Viola Davis first came to attention on film when she played the lead character’s drug addicted mother in “Antwone Fisher,” which Washington also directed.

One irony of the Oscar season– Nate Parker, who wrote, directed and stars in “The Birth of a Nation,” is also a Washington graduate. He starred in Denzel’s “The Great Debaters” nine years ago. If the movie can overcome its current problems and head to awards, Washington can also take pride in that accomplishment.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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