You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

AFI fetes ‘Fisher’

Oscar-winning thesp's directorial debut finally develops

HOLLYWOOD — Star-helmer Denzel Washington kept his opening remarks brief at the U.S. preem of “Antwone Fisher.” He interrupted a lengthy intro of AFI Fest sponsors by fest director Christian Gaines with a simple “Enjoy the movie everybody.”

Damp weather didn’t stop people from making the trek to the Henry Fonda Theater to toast Washington’s directorial debut, and the affecting bigscreen debut of Derek Luke as the title character.

Fox Searchlight production prexy Peter Rice Washington’s nuanced direction impressed him even more: “The performances are so strong in the silences, and it’s those quiet moments that you can’t see on the page.”

Tale of a young sailor’s triumph over crippling inner demons spawned in an abusive childhood took almost as long to make as Fisher did to grow up, languishing in development for a decade. Joked Joe Pichirallo, the exec responsible for five years of its development at Searchlight: “A lot of times in Hollywood, you start movies before they are ready. Here, you could say we were all really well prepared.”

“Antwone” producer Todd Black called the process “a real lesson in development,” observing that while “I had more hair and it wasn’t gray” when he started on the project, it has steeled his belief that “the good ones always get made — never when you want them to be, but they always get made.”

More Film

  • Dominique McElligott

    Film News Roundup: Dominique McElligott, Beau Bridges Join Boyd Holbrook's 'Two/One'

    HOLLYWOOD — Star-helmer Denzel Washington kept his opening remarks brief at the U.S. preem of “Antwone Fisher.” He interrupted a lengthy intro of AFI Fest sponsors by fest director Christian Gaines with a simple “Enjoy the movie everybody.” Damp weather didn’t stop people from making the trek to the Henry Fonda Theater to toast Washington’s […]

  • Coco Pixar

    John Lasseter Allegations Cast Shadow Over Disney-Pixar's 'Coco' Debut

    HOLLYWOOD — Star-helmer Denzel Washington kept his opening remarks brief at the U.S. preem of “Antwone Fisher.” He interrupted a lengthy intro of AFI Fest sponsors by fest director Christian Gaines with a simple “Enjoy the movie everybody.” Damp weather didn’t stop people from making the trek to the Henry Fonda Theater to toast Washington’s […]

  • John Lasseter

    Pixar's John Lasseter Was the Subject of a 'Whisper Network' for More Than Two Decades

    HOLLYWOOD — Star-helmer Denzel Washington kept his opening remarks brief at the U.S. preem of “Antwone Fisher.” He interrupted a lengthy intro of AFI Fest sponsors by fest director Christian Gaines with a simple “Enjoy the movie everybody.” Damp weather didn’t stop people from making the trek to the Henry Fonda Theater to toast Washington’s […]

  • Andy Serkis Flarsky

    Andy Serkis Joins Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron in 'Flarsky'

    HOLLYWOOD — Star-helmer Denzel Washington kept his opening remarks brief at the U.S. preem of “Antwone Fisher.” He interrupted a lengthy intro of AFI Fest sponsors by fest director Christian Gaines with a simple “Enjoy the movie everybody.” Damp weather didn’t stop people from making the trek to the Henry Fonda Theater to toast Washington’s […]

  • John Lasseter Pixar

    John Lasseter Takes Leave of Absence From Disney/Pixar, Apologizes for Unwanted Hugs

    HOLLYWOOD — Star-helmer Denzel Washington kept his opening remarks brief at the U.S. preem of “Antwone Fisher.” He interrupted a lengthy intro of AFI Fest sponsors by fest director Christian Gaines with a simple “Enjoy the movie everybody.” Damp weather didn’t stop people from making the trek to the Henry Fonda Theater to toast Washington’s […]

  • at&t time warner merger

    AT&T-Time Warner Merger: Does the DOJ Have a Case?

    HOLLYWOOD — Star-helmer Denzel Washington kept his opening remarks brief at the U.S. preem of “Antwone Fisher.” He interrupted a lengthy intro of AFI Fest sponsors by fest director Christian Gaines with a simple “Enjoy the movie everybody.” Damp weather didn’t stop people from making the trek to the Henry Fonda Theater to toast Washington’s […]

  • Tom Hollander A Private War

    Tom Hollander Joins Rosamund Pike, Jamie Dornan in 'A Private War'

    HOLLYWOOD — Star-helmer Denzel Washington kept his opening remarks brief at the U.S. preem of “Antwone Fisher.” He interrupted a lengthy intro of AFI Fest sponsors by fest director Christian Gaines with a simple “Enjoy the movie everybody.” Damp weather didn’t stop people from making the trek to the Henry Fonda Theater to toast Washington’s […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content