The trailer features Washington in the lead role of Pittsburgh garbage collector Troy Maxson that won him a Tony six years ago, launching into the memorable “How come you ain’t never liked me?” scene with Jovan Adepo, who stars as Troy’s son, Cory. The scene is intercut with flashes from the rest of the story, building as Troy’s monologue becomes more impassioned until it explodes with an emotional moment from Viola Davis as Troy’s wife, Rose.
Wilson won a Pulitzer Prize for the work in 1987, and the Broadway production went on to win Tonys for best play, best leading actor (James Earl Jones), best featured actress (Mary Alice) and best direction (Lloyd Richards). The 2010 revival won best revival of a play, best leading actor (Washington) and best leading actress (Davis).
Naturally, then, “Fences” comes with an undeniable pedigree. Produced by Scott Rudin (along with Washington and Todd Black), with Stephen McKinley Henderson reprising his Tony-nominated role and Mykelti Williamson back as well, the film is one of a handful Paramount has to work with this Oscar season. It’s also one of a number of 2016 films that can help answer two years of #OscarsSoWhite controversy, if voters are so inclined.
But Wilson’s work stands out in any context, and the first big screen treatment of “Fences” will be an event regardless.
Check out the new trailer below: