Sony has bumped up the Denzel Washington-led sequel The Equalizer 2 from a September 14th, 2018 theatrical release date to an August 10th launch date that same year. The Equalizer sequel itself is an outlier for the two-time Oscar winner Washington, in the sense that the actor has otherwise avoided making sequels to his own films, up to this point in his career. It also marks the fourth collaboration between Washington and director Antoine Fuqua, following their efforts together on Training Day (which snagged Washington his Best Actor Oscar), the first Equalizer movie, and last year’s The Magnificent Seven remake.
Whereas the first Equalizer movie was presented as being a reimagining/reboot of the 1980s TV series of the same name, the sequel should have more free reign story-wise, now that the new iteration of the Robert McCall character (Washington) – a former black ops agent who decides to become a vigilante in the service of the underprivileged – has been established. An official synopsis for The Equalizer 2 screenplay by Equalizer screenwriter Richard Wenk (who also cowrote Fuqua’s Magnificent Seven) has yet to be released, though that may change soon, now that production on the sequel is getting underway.
Deadline is confirming that The Equalizer 2 has been bumped up to August of 2018 by Sony, officially making it part of next year’s summer movie season. The first Equalizer film was a box office success thanks to the combination of its modest mid-range budget ($55 million) and sizable worldwide gross ($192.3 million), making it a solid candidate to arrive during what it typically the slowest month of Hollywood’s summer (re: May through August). Odds are that many of the same moviegoers who enjoyed both The Equalizer and Washington/Fuqua’s similarly gritty, character-driven action/dramas past will also turn out to see what the pair have cooked up for The Equalizer 2. [UPDATE: The Equalizer 2 has now moved up yet another week, to August 3rd, 2018.]
The Equalizer 2 is now set to face-off directly with the “Jason Statham vs gigantic killer shark” thriller Meg during its opening weekend. The Anne Hathaway-led Barbie movie is currently set to open a couple of days earlier on Wednesday, August 8th, but the fact that both it and Equalizer 2 are Sony/Columbia productions suggests that Barbie will be getting a different release date soon (though the more family-friendly Barbie could still thrive as counter programming to the R-Rated Equalizer sequel). Universal has also claimed August 10th as the release date for its Scarface remake (a project Fuqua was once attached to direct), but seeing as that mobster drama/thriller is currently without a director, the odds are in favor of it being delayed from its current launch time.
As mentioned earlier, official plot details for The Equalizer 2 have yet to be revealed, though it has been confirmed that Equalizer costars Bill Pullman and Melissa Leo will be reprising their roles as the Plummers in the sequel. Meanwhile, Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones, Narcos) has been set to play the villain in The Equalizer 2 opposite Washington’s Robert McCall, with Ashton Sanders (Moonlight) further rounding out the film’s cast in a leading role. There has been no indication yet that Chloë Grace Moretz will be reprising her own Equalizer role in the sequel, but that is to be expected – given that her character’s arc had been essentially concluded by the end of the first movie, whereas McCall had only just begun his new mission in life as an “equalizer” of justice.
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