Penned by former security guard at Sony lot

Denzel Washington’s long-awaited feature film directorial debut, the untitled Antwone Fisher project, has been greenlit by Fox Searchlight to start production immediately after the guilds’ contracts are settled.

Script was penned by Fisher, a former security guard on the Sony lot. The autobiographical tale begins with Fisher as a 24-year-old sailor being sent to a Navy psychiatrist because of his violent temper, which an analyst traces to an abusive childhood.

While no talent is attached, Washington has expressed interest in playing the psychiatrist and will also produce.

Pet project

Washington has been attached to the Fisher project since 1998. Pic was originally skedded to start pre-production in January 1999 and lense that summer after Washington wrapped “The Hurricane.” But Washington followed his Oscar-nominated performance by starring in Jerry Bruckheimer’s “Remember the Titans” for Disney.

Todd Black and Jason Blumenthal of Black and Blu Entertainment will produce with Randa Haines. Black met Fisher while the latter was taking a scriptwriting class at a South Central church and encouraged him during the scriptwriting process. Project was brought into Searchlight by senior veep of production Joe Pichirallo, the exec attached to the pic.

Washington is currently working on “Training Day” for NPV Entertainment, Village Roadshow Prods. and Warner Bros.

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