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

  • Barry Keoghan Variety 10 Actors to

    Altitude Boards ‘Calm With Horses’ Starring Barry Keoghan, Cosmo Jarvis

    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 […]

  • The Mummy

    Tom Cruise Becomes First Actor to Receive Pioneer of the Year Award

    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 […]

  • Goran-Review

    Film Review: 'Goran'

    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 […]

  • Tiffany Haddish Lego Movie

    Tiffany Haddish Cracks up CinemaCon for 'Night School,' Tyler Perry Movie

    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 […]

  • Jim Gianopulos and Tom CruiseParamount Pictures

    Tom Cruise Wows CinemaCon With Story of 'Mission: Impossible -- Fallout' Stunt

    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 […]

  • JJ Abrams'Westworld' TV show premiere, Arrivals,

    'Overlord' Not 'Cloverfield' Movie, Says J.J. Abrams

    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