After a short, but well-deserved break between 2010’s “Unstoppable” and this past February’s “Safe House,” actor Denzel Washington is back with the force you’d expect from a man who once yelled King Kong “ain’t having sh*t on me” during a heated exchange in “Training Day.” Anyways, he has the Robert Zemeckis-directed drama “Flight” set to land this November, he’s currently shooting the action picture “2 Guns” alongside Mark Wahlberg, and we just had word he could star alongside Will Smith in “Anchorman” director Adam McKay’s remake of “Uptown Saturday Night." And now we have further info on a long-developing project with Washington attached.
Deadline has the tip that Sony Pictures has set the Washington-starring “The Equalizer” for an April 8 production start in (most likely) Boston. Based on the hit 1980s series "The Equalizer,” Washington will be filling the lead role of an aging man (originally played by Edward Woodward) who offers up his services as a 'fixer' for free in order to atone for a muddled past working for an agency referred to only as The Company. We first heard about this one back in December, but this has been in the pipeline even longer than that (originally with “Crash” helmer Paul Haggis and Russell Crowe attached), but Sony looks to want to make a move on Washington now, so a deal is close to be made for the star – and apparently they have a few intriguing hopefuls on their director wish list. Word has it that Pierre Morel (“Taken”), Nicolas Winding Refn (“Drive,” “Bronson”), Gavin O’Connor (“Warrior,” “Miracle”) and Gareth Evans (“The Raid”) have all been mentioned to helm – and we have to admit that is a mostly interesting assortment of filmmakers for a studio picture of this nature. But again, those are wish list choices — as to who will actually get the gig remains to be seen. What, are Tony Scott and Denzel not friends anymore?
Washington seems to have found his late-career sweet spot with original, more adult action fare like “The Book of Eli," "Unstoppable" and “Safe House,” and “The Equalizer” certainly seems to be falling in that wheelhouse as well – especially if it’s able to hook the age group who can still remember the television series. We don’t know where this will leave room for “Uptown Saturday Night” or any other gestating Washington projects, but it should be a treat to see how “The Equalizer” makes its way to the silver screen.