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January 01, 1988|JOHN VOLAND | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

Eddie Murphy wants to make a film version of August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama "Fences" in 1988, the comedian's manager said Wednesday. Robert Wachs said "all things being equal, yes, he will" appear as the son in the story of a former Negro Leagues baseball player and his family. Eddie Murphy Productions bought the rights to the play, according to a Paramount Pictures Corp. spokeswoman. Paramount will probably distribute the film, she said. James Earl Jones won this year's Tony award as best actor for his portrayal of the father and is said to be first choice to repeat the role on film. (Jones talks about the role in an interview on Page 15.)

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