Love him or hate him, Russell Crowe is a powerful cinematic presence who refuses to play the usual Hollywood game. A man’s man and an actor’s actor it would seem that for the last decade or so Crowe has (for the most part) successfully walked the fine line between art and commerce. Even his recent Robin Hood film wasn’t the usual smash and grab Hollywood production that it could have been.
Now it seems as if Crowe may be about to make the biggest commercial decision of his career. He could be slipping into Edward Woodward’s trench coat for a big screen version of The Equalizer.The Equalizer was a 1980s CBS series which followed the late Woodward as Robert McCall, a former undercover operative who helps those in need. Sort of like a grittier, one man A-Team. A film version of The Equalizer has been mooted for years – it was previously in development at The Weinstein Company.
According to the LA Times, the film version is now being ushered forward by Mace Neufeld (the man behind the Jack Ryan films) and Alex Siskin as well as the production company Escape Artists (The Taking of Pelham 1, 2, 3).
On the surface it may appear that Crowe and a television adaptation make strange bedfellows, but if you look at the talent involved, as well as the concept, you can see how The Equalizer could be a sophisticated action thriller – the type of film that Crowe knocks out of the part (LA Confidential anyone?).
It’s also important to note that Crowe recently starred in the great State of Play – which was an adaptation of the brilliant British miniseries.
Neufield’s Jack Ryan films have the right amount of thrills and plot to make them more than throwaway action films and there’s a good chance that The Equalizer could follow suit. Like the Ryan films the idea of The Equalizer offers plenty of sequel potential – The Sequelizer, if you will.
While the film is currently in development, there is no director or script for the project yet and I can only imagine that Crowe’s contract is subject to approval of both. It could take a while for this to hit the screen, not such a bad thing considering that a few years would bring Crowe closer to Woodward’s age in the original show.
All this talk of Edward Woodward has reminded me of the old joke:
Why is there four D’s in Edward Woodward? Otherwise he’d be known as Ewar Woowar. If you didn’t laugh the first time, say it out loud – it’s funnier!
What do you think of Russell Crowe as the Equalizer? Who else would you like to see involved in the project?
Source: LA Times