Sony/Columbia Pictures has set a release date of April 11, 2014, for the big screen adaptation of the the late 1980s CBS vigilante crime-solving series, The Equalizer, with Denzel Washington starring.
First announced over a year ago, when Russell Crowe was said to be attached to star, Denzel replaced him in the film, with a production start date of April 8 (I’m assuming 2013), with Denzel getting his customary $20 million salary, which will account for almost half of the film’s suggested $50 million budget.
The TV series was set in New York, and centered on a former secret agent (played by the late Edward Woodward) with a “mysterious past” who tries to atone for past sins by offering, free of charge, his services as an investigator, aided by a diverse group of other sometimes-mysterious contacts (some of whom date back to his spying days).
Deadline also notes that several directors are being (and will be) considered for the project; and the one name that excites me the most, and who I think would actually be really good for this project, based on what I know of it, is Nicolas Winding Refn, who last helmed last year’s criticaly-acclaimed thriller Drive.
Although I’d add that I don’t think an adaptation is at all necessary; they studio could just come up with a new crime/detective story idea, and write a script based on that. But you know how these studios are.
The film adaptation reportedly will not be entirely faithful to the TV series; Denzel will play “a solitary, monastic figure who hates injustice and devotes himself to helping people who are being victimized.“
The series ran for 5 seasons on CBS, and its opening credits soundtrack remember, created by Stewart Copeland of The Police, which actually became a hit for him, was one of its most memorable aspects.