Denzel Washington’s ‘Equalizer’ Secures Start Date; Lining Up Directors

Published 3 years ago by , Updated October 25th, 2012 at 9:59 am,

denzel washington equalizer Denzel Washingtons Equalizer Secures Start Date; Lining Up Directors

Sony’s been dragging its feet with The Equalizer, a big-screen adaptation of the popular 1980s television series starring Edward Woodward as private detective Robert McCall. Russell Crowe and Paul Haggis (who collaborated on The Next Three Days) were long attached to the project. Both fell by the wayside last year, and Crowe was replaced by Denzel Washington.

Equalizer, with Washington, is now a red-hot project. Sony was very responsive to the latest script draft by Richard Wenk (who co-wrote next month’s Expendables 2) and is fast-tracking the project to begin principal photography by April 2013, possibly on location in Boston.

Wenk’s take on the Equalizer property is described by Deadline as follows:

The film is loosely based on the TV series that starred Edward Woodward as a mysterious former covert operations officer who helps people in trouble… [It] has that basic premise but takes off in its own way, tailored to Washington’s skills. He’ll play a solitary, monastic figure who hates injustice and devotes himself to helping people who are being victimized.

Studio heads have their eyes on a lineup of directors for Equalizer that’s worth your attention. The list includes: Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive), Gareth Evans (The Raid: Redemption), Gavin O’Connor (Warrior), and Pierre Morel (Taken). It’s worth mentioning: most of these accomplished action filmmakers have other projects vying for their attention, so it’s entirely possible that none of them will land the Equalizer job.

Denzel Washington in Safe House Review Denzel Washingtons Equalizer Secures Start Date; Lining Up Directors

Denzel Washington in ‘Safe House’

The Equalizer is setting up for a $50 million budget, which covers Washington’s usual $20 million salary. Sony, in other words, wants this to be a lean and mean thriller that emulates the model for success of Safe House from earlier this year – where Washington’s appeal as a methodical loner, plus Bourne-style gritty action, led to a higher than expected $202 million global gross on an $85 million budget (and an overall decent critical reception to boot).

Insiders are reporting that Equalizer is also “designed to launch the first franchise” for Washington. That calls attention to an unusual aspect of the Oscar-winning actor’s career – namely, despite having played many variations on the “solitary, monastic” archetype (see: Courage Under Fire, Man on Fire, The Book of Eli, Safe House), Washington’s never portrayed the exact same one.

Washington also has the Robert Zemeckis drama Flight and the thriller 2 Guns arriving, for those who aren’t enticed by a prospective Equalizer franchise.

Expect to learn more about The Equalizer over the upcoming months.


Source: Deadline

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  1. Let me say two things. I hate remakes of anything. I love “The Equalizer.” That being said, I will definitely see the remake of “The Equalizer” with Denzel Washington. Actually, I will only go to a movie to see a Denzel Washington film which means I go once a year to the movies. Everything else can wait for DVD and I really mean everything else can wait.

    • Can’t say I’m much interested in this. Although Denzel is a great actor, he seems to be on his way out as a leading man anymore, and I can’t picture him playing a role done so well by Edward Woodward. I personally would have cast someone else in this part, like Ralph Fiennes, Liam Neeson, Russell Crowe, etc.

      • Denzel is on his way out as a leading man? you must not watch many movies..

        • Yes I do, and yes he is. Hasn’t had any blockbusters lately that I know of, and most could probably name a dozen or so other actors far more in demand than him…

  2. They’d better keep that awesome theme tune!

  3. As a Russell Crowe fan, I would have loved to see him in this, but I can’t argue with Denzel Washington in this role. He’ll ace it. Any chance that Tony Scott’s name might be thrown into the director’s pool?

  4. I’d like to see him do an action movie without one of the Scott brothers. I realize the formula works but he could use some new influence/style to rejuvenate his work. He and Liam Neeson do the job well but some of their movies begin to feel like the same idea with a different title.

    • True. That said, it would be great to see Liam Neeson do this movie with him.

  5. I will definitely give this a watch. Washington could probably breathe some decent life into the character. The original show had good and bad. Good was Woodward, who is a good actor. The concept was also tolerably good, and could have been expanded. The bad was the stories never really seemed to get off the ground or be that interesting, like the tv writers did not know where to go with it, were too busy watching the budget for time (got less than an hour folks, sorry, gotta hurry, no time for a plot), special effects, or involved comprehensive plot, and so they just kind of diddled off the plans for each show on a napkin during their lunch-break. Also, that awful, awful synthesized organ music every single show was a source of cringing sometimes, and hilarity other times, as they only had apparently one musician, and he just diddled around on his keyboard whenever he felt like it like he was the most important part of the show–and lemmee clue ya, he wasn’t–! So, they tried to save money on background music that did not even fit the scenes, and that was a farce to the “unth” degree! I will say the opening theme music was good, tho–same artist, I’m shocked to say, but he was evidently a one-hit wonder, as every other note he played during the course of the show itself could have been enhanced by a cat walking across the keyboard at opportune moments. So Woodward, luv ya, and I hope Washington does well in this. I will definitely keep it in mind!

  6. I’m up for this – I was a big fan of Edward Woodward from his “Callan” days (what a good show!), and Denzel Washington definitely has the movie star thing going on. I usually think “Ooh, a Denzel Washington movie” the same way I would think “Ooh, a Humphrey Bogart movie” or “Ooh, a Robert DeNiro movie”, etc.

  7. holy obscurity. i loved the equalizer but they better have
    the bad*** equalizer opening music. tv shows are generaly
    cool because of thier opening gaffs as well,
    an example is star treks space the final frontier william shatner
    voice opener.

    alot of tv to movies fail because they do not carry the tvs film score
    to the tv to movie. an example is the god awful miami vice reboot
    movie. the tv show itself had terrific mix of jan hammers score and
    80s rock music uniquely done, often times using
    the music to tell the story without dialogue wich the miami vice movie

    i think the best tv movie adaption ive seen is star trek classic and
    maverick. much like remakes and videogame to movie movies they usualy
    end up sucking.

    star trek the next generations movies sucked compared to the tv show
    for example because they didnt use the star trek II music
    (also in my opinion a major reason why the star trek franchise itself plummeted
    in popularity) that was used in next generations tv show.

    i can think of alot of other tv shows wich would be cooler
    to be done into movies than equalizer (magnum p.i. being
    one) but i’ll take it.

  8. Russell Crowe would have been my first choice. Denzel should do very well. I hope Stewart Copeland lands the score. Definitely have Nicolas Winding Refn direct as Drive was the best of the movies listed above and he already has the feel for The Equalizer…

  9. i love Denzel washinton the best actor of our generation he is so talented i always get exicted seeing him in roles. i’m glad they didn’t choose russell his acting isn’t bad but he acts the same way in everything. I am so excited to see Denzel i know he will bring an oscar worthy performance to this. and him out as a leading man? NEVER. people sitll love denzel his movie Flight/Safehouse did really good, he will always be in high demand no matter how old he gets there will always be roles for him because he’s just that awesome at acting. When men get older it really doesn’t matter people will still watch them and they will get leading roles, however when women get older in hollywood no one wants to see them anymore. but anyway i can’t wait to see Denzel and i hope he wins that oscar for flight! :)

  10. What a load of old crap! This will not stand out as the series did, it will just be another sh*tty remake of a great series just like The Sweeney movie.

  11. Was on the closed set in haverhill mass at a closed Lowe’s hardware store this morning

  12. this past Monday my wife and I needed to kill some time so we stopped at a theater and the movie the equalizer was about to start so we went in and saw it the movie was okay I guess a little on the violent side but when the word peace was used that is and was extremely accurate to me that was the best partof the movie thank you