Denzel Washington May Reteam with ‘Training Day’ Director for ‘The Equalizer’

Published 2 years ago by

denzel washington equalizer1 Denzel Washington May Reteam with Training Day Director for The Equalizer

Sony has been unable to lock down a director for The Equalizer, ever since the studio fast-tracked development on the 1980s TV series adaptation (with Denzel Washington starring). Filmmakers like Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive) and Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) were courted to accept the job, but ended up passing for different reasons.

The most recent candidate to enter talks for the Equalizer directing position might stick around, though, seeing as that it’s Antoine Fuqua (who directed Washington to an Oscar in Training Day). Washington and Fuqua haven’t worked together again over the twelve years that’ve passed since then, but that’s (reportedly) because they just couldn’t find the right time and movie for a re-collaboration.

Equalizer is loosely based on Michael Sloan and Richard Lindheim’s TV series, which ran from 1985-89. The script draft by Richard Wenk (The Mechanic) repurposes the show’s premise – a former covert operations officer helps people in need – so that it better matches Washington’s screen persona, allowing him to instead play a “solitary, monastic figure” who spends his time defending the helpless from being abused by those more powerful.

Fuqua’s latest slice of gritty action and thrills, Olympus Has Fallen opens in U.S. theaters tomorrow, but Training Day remains, and probably will continue to remain, his best known work. Hence, a reunion with Washington not only sounds like a wise move for the director, it ought to help in generating buzz for The Equalizer.

training day fuqua washington Denzel Washington May Reteam with Training Day Director for The Equalizer

Antoine Fuqua, Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke filming ‘Training Day’

Washington played against type in last year’s Flight, which snagged him an Oscar-nomination and provided a reminder that he’s still capable of delivering volatile and raw performances – and not just the calm-and-refined characterizations he’s spent a good deal of the last decade turning in (for example, see his recent films like The Book of Eli, Unstoppable and Safe House).

Meanwhile, Fuqua has spent his time further refining his skills at making socially-conscious B-movie action, mixing drama and thrills in such films as Tears of the Sun, Shooter and Brooklyn’s Finest (in addition to stepping into new genre territory with King Arthur). He continues that trend with Olympus, which appears on-course to be a lukewarm critical/financial success, like most of his output.

Point being, there was something promising about having a genuine auteur like Refn oversee The Equalizer; the same goes for Wyatt, who’s shown considerable skill in tackling B-movie genre material. Fuqua, on the other hand, ought to deliver a competent adaptation (at the least), but I worry that the project is now destined to go down as “just another Denzel Washington action movie.”


The Equalizer remains set to open in theaters on April 11th, 2014.


Source: Deadline

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  1. Nice. I used to love watching The Equalizer as a kid in the late 80s mainly thanks to parents watching it and Denzel being as great an actor as he is could help reinvigorate the role.

    • I liked that show too, and at least with Denzel the action sequences will be much more realistic…since he looks like more of a badass than Edward Woodward.
      He’s also proved he can do the “I’m old but still a badass..and I can mess with your mind even more” thing based on his performances in ‘Safe House’ and ‘Man of Fire’.

      • Sorry..Man ON Fire.

  2. King Kong aint got noth’n on ME!

  3. Was Training Day “just another Denzel Washington action movie?”

  4. I am looking forward to this, and used to enjoy the old original series with Edward Woodward. They should have stuck with a white actor (NOT for any bias reason), since that is what the original show envisioned, but Washington is a good actor and I am sure will do the reimagined role good justice. One fault I did have with the original series was that aside from the opening/closing theme song, which was excellent, the little “boops & beeps” on the keyboard by the composer/musician (probably the SOLE musician in their orchestra, to save money) was some of the worst sounding and most misplaced music for the scenes in any show ever imagined while the actual episodes were going on. I am sure I will watch this.

  5. Training Day was awesome and at the time it was a big departure for Denzel as he normally was the good guy.

    Only problem is that the character of Robert McCall is very similar to what Denzel has been playing in his latest films, very cool under presure, reserved, calm, efficent.

    Now Denzel does that VERY well but it’s all becomeing a bit same old same old. While he will put in a decent performance it won’t strech him or be anymore memorable than Safehouse or Book of Eli, good films that they are but not very memorable.

    Not seen Flight but you can’t argue with an Oscar nomination but like Alonzo, Cassey, Frank Lucas and Ron Hunter(Training Day, Man on Fire, American Gangster, Crimson Tide) Denzel does his best work when he’s not doing his typecast calm, superskilled asskicker.

    The man has chops and range, he could do with more projects (like Flight) that lets him flex them acting muscles.

    NB. Cassey was his first time as what has now become his typecast role and his best portrail of that type of character. He seems a bit bored with it lately but you gotta have a pay check.

  6. Olympus Has Fallen looks poorly filmed as if the audience needn’t see the action taking place but merely sense the substance of the morality tale and take the director’s word that things will right themselves in the end. The question is why? Was it poor staging, lack of budget, an arrogance that rushes were seen as they wanted to be and not as they were?

  7. No, just, NO all all counts. Wrong director wrong actor. I can see 20% on RT now, with a weekend of < 8m

  8. Director Fugua is superb with movie making you cant go wrong with actor Denzel Washington. Keep up the good work we need more good movies like them. Try remaking Foxy Brown with the actress that play Candace on the haves and have nots. A Tyler Perry sitcon on OWN.