‘Drive’ Director Nicolas Winding Refn Eyes ‘The Equalizer’ with Denzel Washington

Published 2 years ago by

nicolas winding refn equalizer Drive Director Nicolas Winding Refn Eyes The Equalizer with Denzel Washington

We’ve been expecting to hear that director Nicolas Winding Renf has dropped the Logan’s Run remake, ever since his Drive leading man Ryan Gosling officially stepped away. There’s not yet been a concrete update on whether Refn has indeed left the sci-fi project; however, it might be safe to assume as much, given that he’s now in talks to direct The Equalizer starring Denzel Washington.

Sony heads are reported to be quite pleased with the most recent Equalizer script draft penned by Richard Wenk (co-writer of The Mechanic and Expendables 2). Hence, the studio has fast-tracked the project for a Spring 2014 release date – meaning this is going to be the next film Refn makes, following the release of Only God Forgives (which reunites him with Gosling).

Equalizer is based (or, rather, ‘inspired by’) the 1980s television series, which was co-created by Michael Sloan and Richard Lindheim and starred Edward Woodward from 1985-89. However, Wenk’s screenplay is described as more standalone in nature; that is, it retains the basic premise of a longer protagonist who devotes his time to helping victimized people – but refashions the main character to play to Washington’s knack for portraying “solitary, monastic” types.

Coming Soon is reporting that Refn has just started “early talks” to sign on and director Equalizer, so there remains a reasonable chance that someone else could end up walking away with the job. Such a ‘replacement’ candidate could come from Sony’s previous shortlist of filmmakers, which includes Gareth Evans (The Raid: Redemption), Gavin O’Connor (Warrior) and Pierre Morel (Taken), among others. We should have a more definite answer soon enough, seeing how the project is deadlocked to begin principal photography by April next year.

denzel washington flight Drive Director Nicolas Winding Refn Eyes The Equalizer with Denzel Washington

Washington is generating Oscar-buzz for his turn as a troubled pilot in Flight (read our review). He could end up appearing in multiple Equalizer installments down the line, should the first film prove a sufficient box office success. In fact, there are a number of parallels between Equalizer and this month’s Tom Cruise vehicle Jack Reacher - not just in terms of franchise potential, but the respective tone and archetypal protagonists featured in the dual action-thrillers.

However, having an auteur with pronounced artistic sensibilities at the helm (like Refn) could result in Equalizer being much better than Jack Reacher. That also goes for having Washington in the lead, even though Cruise remains the bigger box office draw. Lastly, the Equalizer budget is ‘only’ going to be around $50 million (even with Washington’s salary), so that should allow Refn more creative freedom than a higher-investment project would. In other words: if Refn signs on, it would be a good harbinger for the final film result.

The Equalizer is scheduled to reach theaters on April 11th, 2014.


Source: Coming Soon

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  1. Should Refn get the freedom he had with Drive,
    which I imagine is a key variable in his negotiations,
    he would be a dynamite choice to helm this Equalizer.

    Denzel is one of my favorite actors and after
    Drive I am interested in anything Refn does.
    The TV show with Woodward was great.

    • I agree Woodward was great in the part, iconic even, as it is difficult to see anyone else playing the role. I would much prefer someone like Cumberbatch or Fassenbender, however, rather than Washington.

      • As much as I like Denzel he would not be my first choice for this.
        I would prefer an English actor in the mold of Woodward but
        Woodward kind of broke the mold and I agree was iconic.

        Crowe was rumored originally which could have been interesting.
        Denzel can be a gentleman while still being lethal and there he fits.

  2. As long as the theme tune is badass and he’s driving a sweet Jag I’m happy.

  3. Nicolas Winding Refn the director of ONE OF THE BEST MOVIES Drive!!
    Denzel Washington one of THE GREATEST ACTORS OF ALL TIME!!
    The Equalizer where Justice is Served!!

    Here just take my wallet in advance, I wasnt using it much anyway…

      • Nah… not by a long shot. The crappy low budget style alone keeps if from ever reaching the cinematic heights of Drive.

        • Bronson anybody?

  4. Denzel Washington + one of the best young directors working today in Winding Refn = A happy Kevin7…

  5. I thought he was ryan goslinga director lol

    • Wut mate? English, do you speak it?

        • I don’t use a keyboard though. Update that computer you’re using, bruh.

          • Sadly its on my smart phone, the touch screen is worse than a keyboard. Haha.

            • All gold everything, bruh

            • Every system basically uses a QWERTY keyboard bruh. So its the same thing. All keyboards. Some are just more physical. Brig.

  6. I wonder if Denzel will play this British?

    He did a movie called ‘For Queen and Country’ in the 80s where he was an ex British solider, could be a decent angle instead instead of the ex CIA operative dealio that they will probably go down

    • hes British accent was not good in that movie. whats also funny For Queen and Country poster it does look like a James Bond movie

      • Haha yeah it was pretty dire, he’s grown as an actor since then though, it is rather James Bond like, I’d never heard of it until looking at Denzels IMBD page

  7. Loved ‘The Equalizer’ back in the day, Edward Woodward just killed in that role, and a big-screen adaptation could certainly work if the script and talent is right – of which both Denzel Washington in front of and Nicholas Winding Refn behind the camera are inspired choices – but once again that dreaded ‘f’ word pops up, namely franchise, how about they just make the best film they can and see how well it does upon release before considering potential sequels… that being said, I wish 20th Century Fox was showing as much commitment to the proposed ’24′ movie as Sony is showing to ‘The Equalizer’ movie!

  8. Edward Woodward totally owned the character for me. If the movie could show him passing over the mantle of The Equaliser to Denzel or whoever plays the title character, I think that would be great.