‘The Equalizer’ With Denzel Washington Gets Its Release Date Pushed Back

Published 1 year ago by

denzel washington shovel ready The Equalizer With Denzel Washington Gets Its Release Date Pushed Back

Sony/Columbia Pictures have spent years attempting to get a cinematic version of The Equalizer off the ground. The original television series ran from 1985-89, and starred the late Edward Woodward – in a Golden Globe-winning role – as Robert McCall, a g-man turned private detective, who spent his days helping out the weak and under-priviledged in an effort to make up for past dark deeds.

The film version – a loose adaptation of that premise – lay dormant until last year, following the departure of star Russell Crowe and director Paul Haggis (who had previously collaborated on The Next Three Days). Progress re-started once Denzel Washington came aboard to headline, based on a script draft written by Richard Wenk (The Mechanic). Sony intended to fast-track the project, but things failed to roll along as smoothly as the studio wanted – with both Nicholas Winding Refn (Drive) and Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) passing on the director job, before Antoine Fuqua (Olympus Has Fallen) accepted the position.

That means Sony has been forced to abandon the April 11th, 2014 release date it originally had in mind, so as to allot the necessary amount of time for filming. The Equalizer features a supporting cast that includes Chloë Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass 2), Marton Csokas (Noah) and Melissa Leo (Wayward Pines), and is now slated to reach theaters on September 26th, 2014.

Kick Ass 2 International Trailer The Equalizer With Denzel Washington Gets Its Release Date Pushed Back

Chloë Grace Moretz as Hit-Girl in ‘Kick-Ass 2′

Washington’s next starring vehicle – expected to be an R-Rated dramatic thriller along the lines of the actor’s previous collaboration with Fuqua on Training Day (which snagged Washington an Oscar) – shall now serve as counter-programming, to Laika’s quirky family-friendly stop-motion feature The Boxtrolls and the surreal sci-fi film Selfless from director Tarsem Singh (Immortals, Mirror Mirror), during its opening weekend.

The Equalizer is budgeted at $50 million (which includes Washington’s $20 million salary), with studio executives hoping that the film performs well enough at the box office to serve as the foundation for Washington’s first-ever franchise. All things considered, such an achievement shouldn’t be too difficult to manage, given that Washington’s last four movies have grossed somewhere between $80 million and $130 million in the U.S. (before factoring in the international market).

_____

Washington’s next appearance on the big screen will be opposite Mark Wahlberg in 2 Guns, opening in theaters on August 2nd, 2013.

The Equalizer will reach theaters on September 26th, 2014.

Source: Sony/Columbia Pictures

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:
TAGS: the equalizer

50 Comments

Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.


If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it.

  1. This adaptation, me thinks, may be the nail in the coffin of Denzel being a leading man, at least in action movies.

    • why?

      • He hasn’t made any blockbusters lately, and I believe he was recently on the top ten list of the most overpaid actors, in comparison to their box office receipts. Studios are going to lose confidence in him.

        • Cool story, bro.

          He got nominated for an Oscar for Flight. Safe House more than doubled it budget. Book of Eli did decent. He’ll do fine.

          • I could list a number of actors who were nominated, who shouldn’t have been, and a number of actors who were not nominated, who should have been. Proves nothing. His movies are not box office smashes, like most studios want these days.

            • But Denzel did deserve a nom for Flight, bro. Stop hating, he’s doing bigger things than you’ll ever do.

              • Ah…the guy plays pretend in movies and makes a fortune for it. Not hating here, just giving my opinion, like everyone else.

                • He plays pretend in movies…
                  Way to oversimplify and dismiss the entire profession of acting. lol. It’s weird, Jeff. Sometimes you seem to hate comic books, superheroes, movies, and yet somehow love them all at the same time.

                  ;)

                  • I love them, but I have a sober perception about them as well. Ultimately, all of these actors, even those who are my favorite, are just playing “make pretend” in front of a camera, and they are getting obnoxious amounts of money for doing so. Still, as I said, I enjoy the escapism of watching them.

        • Still, it works for Will Smith, and his hits so far have been hit or miss.

  2. I’m not sure Crowe was the right man for the job, but don’t get me wrong, he is not a bad actor, just not dramatic or action-oriented enough. Denzel-wise, he is a good actor as well. I would have preferred a white actor, maybe even with a British accent like Edward Woodward had, because that is what I was used to from the series (NOT for any racial bias reason. I actually like Washington). I am looking forward to this at any rate, hope it does well. Just one thing….please keep the original theme song from the opening credits, and please DO NOT have the fruitie beeps and boops on the organ type of music that plagued the original series. It was probably a one-man band/composer doing the original music to save money, and aside from an excellent opening theme song, he did not know what to do for the rest of the series music-wise, and it sounded like a cross between a cheap porno flick’s music and a cheap soap-opera show’s music while the band was on some trip-wire drug. Get better music for while the action scenes are going on. Otherwise, I am in aside from this one piccadillo.

    • On this we agree, Goldilocks. When I think of the Equilizer, I think of a refined and sophisticated Englishman, not Denzel. Edward Woodward was the prototype. This is comparable to making Batman French.

      • Well if you guys are looking for a “refined and sophisticated Englishman,” what about Idris Ebla? Or no…because he’s not the preferred “white” as the lovely Goldlilocks pointed out.

        Race doesn’t matter with roles like this. This character isn’t Superman famous and his origins aren’t grounded in one specific cultural realm.

        • If we disagree, it’s only your thinking that takes offense, as our comments are a matter of preference, not prejudice. Of course, some people do look at all things black and white, like perchance, you.

          • You see, the thing is, everything today is seen through black and white, at least with Hollywood it is.

            The above commenter mentioned that Denzel can’t play “refined”. Why is that, huh?

            And no was talking to you, dude, so get lost.

          • Denzel is a great actor for sure. I loved the tv show and I want to see a white, English actor, (not American or Spanish etc), but Englishman take on the role and make it true to the show I loved. If you don’t then just make a movie and do not bother calling it the Equalizer. Get the casting right, it’s nothing to do with race or politics, just keeping some consistency and respect to the original show. Hollywood execs, use some common sense.

        • Well, Bell, it’s kind of like Jeff says, preference, not prejudice (well-said, by the way, Jeff). I will say that yes, this is a role that could be played by pretty much any ethnic background actor, be it Black, Asian, Latino, White, Native North American,or Eskimo. But I am one who generally leans towards the source material, and even though this is not the most extreme example by far, and is indeed fairly inter-changable, we often harken back to what we know to ground our experiences, preferences, etc., in the same way we would follow a long journey by most likely the most familiar route (unless we were sight-seeing, of course). Believe me, although a white political conservative, I am probably racially about the most unbiased person you will find anywhere in the political or social spectrum, so that has absolutely nothing to do with it. Ebla is a good actor in the right part. Believe me when I say, if a movie were being made about Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Louie Armstrong, Michael Jackson, etc., and anyone proposed using a White or Asian actor, for instance, I would be the first one to scream bloody murder about it. Racial discrimination and bias works in more than one way, not just to favor those who want to slap the “white establishment” in the face. And just for the record, I probably have more personal friends and respected customers where I work of diverse and different ethnic backgrounds than myself than most of the people reading this post.

          • Goldilocks, you keep making the argument that the race of fictional characters shouldn’t be changed in movies, but the same support you keep using for the argument is ridiculous. Other screen rant commenters, as well as even screen rant writers and others across the internet have pointed out that the race of characters whose ethnic backgrounds are irrelevant to their origins are no less subject to change than any other detail in comic lore. Details that, by the very nature of them existing in comic book fiction, are always in a constant cycle of change anyway.
            The point is pure in a sense that it almost isn’t even an opinion or an argument at all, but rather a description of what comics books are and have always been.
            But you argue the contrary, which, of course, is fine. Why your argument is ridiculous? Because the example that you keep throwing up to support your stand against change is the controversial (and bizarre!) notion of casting white actors to play black historical figures.
            For starters, smart money says that you probably won’t be the first to “cry bloody murder” if some fool in Hollywood were to ever even suggest such nonsense. But more importantly, this hypothetical does exactly nothing to promote your argument for not changing the race of fictional characters. Aren’t you the guy who said the same thing on the MLK board, suggesting they get a white actor to play the beloved civil rights leader as some kind of edgy way to tease out the hypocrisy of race changes in ….in comic book movies?
            The reason this comparison cannot in any way be made is painfully obvious. But I’ll state it anyway. Characters that exist in fictional universes are not the same thing as characters based on historical figures.

            • I’m hoping Goldilocks addresses your comments, but from my point of view, you are correct in what you say, but again…this is a matter of preference, not prejudice. Of course we can have a black Equalizer, an asian Batman, a hispanic Superman, or a white Black Panther, but having become acquainted with and attached to the known and successful prototype of each character, we would prefer not. We are not out there seeking to physically prevent anyone from playing these roles, we are just merely expressing our opinion that we would prefer the character as originally penned, back story and all. You and others may disagree, but I would assume that you would not think yourselves “prejudiced” for “prefering” something different, instead of the original?

              • But Jeff, it’s the preference argument that Hollywood has used as their anchor since the beginning. It’s why, for instance, with the influence of history as portrayed in movies, nearly everyone’s mental image of the Roman Empire is of a white or mostly white population (even though the notion of it is absolutely false). Hollywood simply refuses to go for anything resembling racial accuracy in most of their epic films based on or inspired by historical events. And the argument goes that filming white people in these roles, even though historically absurd, will be easier to swallow for audiences more familiar with viewing movies showcasing predominantly white casts or, short of that, white leads.

                White, in fact, is the default race for protagonists in mainstream storytelling mediums. (That’s how you get Leo DiCaprio as the star in Blood Diamond and Tom Cruise as the star in The Last Samurai) And even in the common American discourse. When describing a random person, there’s a common tendency to just say “a man..” when describing a white man but to specify “black” if the man happens to be black, as if his race is a subcategory stemming from the default. Everyone is used to it, so it’s not on the front of the mind. That’s why in the enormity of comic book and sci fi movies and television mythology, you see the entire spectrum vastly populated with white characters for whom their race is completely default.
                Check my point and you’ll see.
                When ethnic characters started making a presence, it became specifically important to design the characters based on a unequivocal and unique cultural background to set them apart from the usual design. Black Panther IS an African King. That’s his origin, with African being an explicit detail. Storm IS a Kenyan princess. Carl Lucas IS a black kid from Harlem. And John Shaft IS John Shaft.
                I think it’s disingenuous to even suggest changing the race of characters like these for the simple fact that it defies their essential design. That may sometimes be the case with white characters, sure, but more often than not (and especially with comic book heroes) their race is never given a conscious thought.
                You can test this theory on your own. Take out a sheet of paper and white down four definitive characteristics of Johnny Storm, T’Challa, and Peter Parker. All of them, we’re used to seeing portrayed as a certain race. But only one of them, the African Wakanda king, has an inseparable characteristic that even suggests race. That’s the difference. You change the race of Johnny Storm, you have a black Johnny Storm. You change the race of Black Panther, you create a different character.

            • If there are no absolutes, samurai27, then I assume you have no proiblem with male characters being playd by female actresses, or female characters played by male actors. No, I stand by my stand, and dense as I may seem, just can’t reconcile myself with your argument. It sounds like if it is ethnic background changes you want, and not on historical or live characters, we should all soon be treated to a movie rendition of “Little White Sambo”! (apologies right here to anyone of black ethnic origin…please do not misunderstand me, NO offense is meant at all). But in the meantime, I would guess they will be changing the theater menu for such a flick from popcorn to pancakes 9read the story for pancake relevency). And also, if you were the author of a story, script, or comic, would you want some other schmoe to change your original plot or script around? Doubtful, indeed.

              • “It sounds like if it is ethnic background changes you want, and not on historical or live characters, we should all soon be treated to a movie rendition of “Little White Sambo”!”

                Here’s the thing, Gold. If you don’t want people to think you are racist, my advise is that you stop saying racist things. Sooner or later, even with the anonymity of the internet, everybody’s gotta be held accountable to what they say and how they portray their thoughts. You’re also not helping yourself by pulling out a rolodex of racial sensitivity credentials. That’s the namedropping friends and dating history thing you did that Omar and I found amusing. It just never helps, man, because white people do it all the time and it always comes across as tacky.
                Personally, for what it’s worth, I don’t think you are racist. A quick check and you’ll see that I never called you or Jeff racist.
                However, there’s racist seasoning in the stew of your argument (the unconscious kind that many are afflicted with thanks to cultural programming). To even suggest changing the races of historical figures in movie renditions of their lives, man, that’s just… just, well, I already called it ridiculous and am drawing blanks on a better synonym that doesn’t make it seem like I’m insulting you. Because the truth is, I don’t know you, so I don’t have anything against you. I DO however have your argument in front of me, and I have everything against that.

                Like take your quoted comment above. So.. not wanting the race of historical figures changed in movies somehow extrapolates to us soon seeing a “Little White Sambo” show? Re…. really? That doesn’t even make any sense, and its not clever so it doesn’t work as a joke either. How do you even get from my point to this supposition? My point is little more than common sense. If a guy who ACTUALLY LIVED was black, Asian, white, Canadian, West Indian, German, whatever (!) in life, then get an actor who fits that description. Period. There is zero precedent for casting white actors to play black historical figures and, beg pardon, changes to the background details of COMIC BOOK CHARACTERS does not magically create a precedent for it. You simply cannot bunch these two together. I won’t insult your intelligence, so I absolutely refuse to believe that you cannot see and appreciate this inexorable point.

                As for your question about females playing males. Well, in recent memory we have the switch from Jimmy Olson to Jenny Olson. Didn’t have a problem with it at all. Why? That’s simple. Because the Olson character has never made a contribution to the mythology that required the character be male. In other words, its an irrelevant detail. Just like Perry White being black. There has never been an explicit reason for the character to be white. Never. It’s what I meant about defaults. Default details are interchangeable. Im used to seeing Olson portrayed as a male, sure. But I didn’t run from the theater screaming when I saw the character was made a girl for Man of Steel. And good thing none of my friends did either, cuz they would have hated me calling them little frivolous b1tches for it. ;)

          • If you feel that have to tell people that you’re not racist, then you probably are. And the “some of my best friends” thing? Seriously? Wow.

            • lol. Omar, I caught the “some of my best friends” thing too.

            • Did not necessarily say best, although that might apply in some cases. Looks like samurai and yourself, Omar, are purposely taking things out of context. I am not racist at all, but thought I should mention as such to clear up and clarify that fact for people who are twisting arguments around and putting words in my mouth. So if I am racist, what psychosis caused me, over the years, to date not just white women (I am white, by the way), but girls from black, Latino, and asian backgrounds? They did not seem to have any problem with me being white, and I certainly had no problem with them, either. I have also dated a girl who was Polish, one who was Irish/Italian, and one who had some hungarian in her ethnic background. I could go on, but you get the drift, I am sure. Amazing how some p[eople mget way off subject, and then resort to personal attacks that are unjustified, just because they are so far to the left that they rotate around the world and meet their shadow coming back.

              • I can’t help wondering what that black ex of yours would have said if you suggested to her that someone like Kevin Bacon play Martin Luther King Jr in a movie, or what the Asian girl would have said if you offered up Ray Park as a good choice to star in a Bruce Lee biopic. And then when they looked at you with a mix of surprise and intellectual disgust, you qualify it by saying, “Oh but hey, it’s cool,…. cuz they changed Nick Fury into a black guy and they let Halle Berry play Catwoman that one time.”

                I’d pay good money, Gold. Good money to see how either of those conversations would have gone down.

    • Both the main theme and the incidental music were by ex-Police drummer Stewart Copeland. I agree: the former’s a classic – the latter sounds like a drunk hitting beer bottles with a stick. I reckon he was using one of the original Fairlight digital samplers. These could only record sounds of a very short duration for use via the keyboard – hence the “stabby” nature of so many records and soundtracks of the time (Jan Hammer’s Miami Vice theme was put together on a Fairlight).

      • Ah, Miami Vice’s theme song. I got tired of the show after a short time, but I will admit that in the opening musical credits, the girl’s torso in the bouncing white bikini top that kept time with the music as she marched along always managed to mesmerize me (I would hold my breath watching the opening credits and listening for the drum-beat waiting for those 3 seconds of head-spinning Paradise!!). “Miami NICE!!”

        • Haha, it was the two bikini-clad girls walking away from the camera that did it for me. That and the flamingos. ;-)

          • Ever notice that flamingos, dogs at fire-hydrants, and Captain Morgan all stand on less than all their legs (hmmm, sounds like Congress, too!)? At least there is some unity in the world, where those of diverse backgrounds can come together and join in unison and harmony (even if it is standing on less than their full compliment of legs!).

          • That was “My-Oh-My Nice”, too!

            • “Myohmy” comment for Big Denntist up above).

    • I agree with you regarding the choice of actor to play McCall. While I like Denzel a lot I feel a better homage to the original would have been to cast a white actor with a British type accent. My first choice would not be the Australian, Crowe but rather Irishman Liam Neeson…..that is if his series of “special skills” movies haven’t typecast him to a point where movie goers are losing interest. Fully agree about the musical score. If I remember I was Stuart Copeland from The Police who did the original.

  3. It should be someone with an English accent and someone who looks like a retired spy. Woodward fit that image Denzil Doesn’t. He’s a little too leading manish.

  4. How about Ewan McGregor or Gerard Butler playing the Equalizer? I like Denzel, but this is not the right role for him. Russell Crowe would have been perfect. Or maybe Gary Oldman.

  5. The thing that made the show work was that he was such an unlikely looking tough guy. Then he’d give you that stern look and that no nonsense British accent and you were sold that this was a bad dude. I don’t think Denzil could pull that off.

    • Also, Edward Woodward was already a houshold name in the UK in the ’60s and ’70s due to the show Callan, playing a conflicted professional killer working for the British intelligence service (kind of a seedy polar opposite of James Bond). So although they were different characters, it was no great stretch to imagine that McCall was Callan trying to atone for his troubled past. A great bit of post modern casting that’d be impossible to replicate now.

      • I hadn’t heard of that show. I’m going to see if I can find it online. Sounds good. The only thing I knew Woodward from was The Wicker Man.

        • My favorite film with him was Breaker Morant. I’ll always remember the execution scene at the end.

          • Definitely. Powerful film.

        • Here’s a clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8kQyZ76mCk

          Looks like all of the fourth and final season is up there. There was a feature-length version of the original pilot episode released as a movie that might be easier to get hold of than the series. Also worth a go is one he did in the late ’70s called 1990, in which he plays an investigative journalist in Britain under a police state. All of season 1 is on YouTube; it hasn’t aged particularly well, but as ever, Woodward’s performance sells it.

  6. I’m a Denzel fan. He will pull this role off.

  7. Richard Wenk’s screenplay for ‘The Equalizer’ is barnstormingly good and made the prestigious Hollywood Black List in 2011 of the best unfilmed scripts at that point, Denzel has gravitas in spades, something the Robert McCall character needs portrayed onscreen (as the late and great Edward Woodward did so well and so memorably), and with the star/director team behind ‘Training Day’ back together, this mive is going to rock… ROCK, I tells ya!

  8. I’ve been lookin’ forward to this for quite some time now because I’m sick to death of Superhero Movies Cheesy Romcoms Dire Comedies.. Horror’s & Everything else in-between. This looks very good especially as Antoine Fuqua is directing it (The man that brought us Training Day) & we all know the performance Denzel Washington gave us in that (: https://vidd.me/6Yu

  9. The movie looks fantastic,i just cant wait to see it i love Denzil Washingtons work am a huge fan,me and my Father we adore everything he does my family knows its going to be a success,as for Chloe she is growing to be an amazing young attress and i am watching her work its amazing!

  10. The Equalizer Bluray releasae date

  11. The Equalizer Bluray releasae date.

  12. every mivcue he makes is anti white!