With modern-day big-screen versions of older TV shows such as The A-Team, Dukes of Hazzard, Get Smart, Starsky & Hutch and Miami Vice (to name just a few) already behind us, I guess it was inevitable we'd get a new version of the '80s CBS action-thriller series The Equalizer.
After being in the cards for quite a few years (it was previously in-development over at The Weinstein Company), we reported a few months ago that Russell Crowe was attached to the lead role originally played by the late Edward Woodward.
The new version of The Equalizer was without a writer and director... until now. Heat Vision is reporting that Paul Haggis is currently in negotiations to write the script for the movie and although it's not definite it could come to pass that he would also take on directorial duties as well. Even if he just writes the script, it would re-team Haggis with Crowe after the pair worked together on The Next Three Days (released this November).
The plot of the new Equalizer is still being worked on but the original premise is simple and effective enough that I don't think it needs much tinkering in order to successfully translate to today's (perhaps more savvy) audiences. For those of you who don't know, The Equalizer was about an former secret agent "who could be hired to right wrongs... [providing] services for clients free of charge, on the condition they returned his help if he ever came calling."
The film is being produced by Crowe alongside Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, Steve Tisch (of Escape Artists), Tony Eldridge (of Lonetree Entertainment), Mace Neufeld, Alex Siskin and Michael Sloan.
Haggis is obviously a sought-after talent both as a writer and a director. He co-wrote both of the most recent James Bond movies, Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace (although for some reason he has been replaced by Peter Morgan for the in-limbo Bond 23), as well as writing and directing the Oscar-winning Crash. It certainly wouldn't be a bad thing for The Equalizer to snag his writing talents.
It's very possibly but far from definite that Haggis would also direct the movie. Doing so would allow him to make sure his script is translated faithfully, but he's evidently selective about what he directs. His last directed film (before The Next Three Days) was In The Valley of Elah back in 2007 and he's only officially attached as a director to one upcoming project, an adaptation of the fantasy novel series Ranger's Apprentice, which he co-wrote for United Artists.
What may get Haggis in the director's chair for The Equalizer is the fact that Ranger's Apprentice is currently stalled because of MGM's financial troubles, which have inevitably rippled trickled to United Artists. Haggis is a real talent and I'd be pleased if he ended up both writing and directing The Equalizer.
You can catch Crowe and Haggis' first team-up, The Next Three Days, when it hits theaters on November 19th, 2010.
Source: Heat Vision