Last week Screen Rant reported on the news that Denzel Washington had apparently walked away from the upcoming Tony Scott directed runaway train thriller, Unstoppable. The reason for this was over money: the studio wanted to cut down Washington’s usual $20 million salary to $16 million (how ever would he have lived…) and Washington declined, apparently moving on to look for another project.
However, it seems that 20th Century Fox and Washington have come to some sort of deal, putting Unstoppable back on track for this fall, with pre-production officially resumed.
Washington will re-team with Tony Scott for a fifth collaboration, playing a veteran engineer who joins up with a young conductor (Chris “New Captain Kirk” Pine) to stop a runaway train full of toxic chemicals. Scott will be directing a screenplay by Mark Bomback (Live Free or Die Hard), which is based loosely on true events.
Reportedly, Washington went off with Scott to promote their fourth collaboration, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, in Europe, where Washington took a fresh draft of the Unstoppable script with him. Washington continued to talk with Scott about the project, and then the actor’s reps managed to come up with a compromise deal with the studio.
When the news broke last week of Washington walking away from Unstoppable, I noted that we could probably see Washington change his mind if they negotiated the money issues. Although it appears Washington won’t have a back-end deal with the film’s box office intake as I predicted last week, nonetheless this news wasn’t that hard to see coming.
Washington clearly works well with Scott (otherwise why would they keep collaborating?), which I would guess was a major factor in him coming back to the project. Well that, and the multi-million dollar check…
What do you think of Washington changing his mind by coming back to star in Unstoppable? Did you see this coming or is it a surprise?
Unstoppable is currently in pre-production in Pittsburgh, but no release date has been set as of yet.