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Nicolas Winding Refn Off Denzel Washington’s ‘The Equalizer’ (Could F. Gary Gray Take His Place?)

Nicolas Winding Refn Off Denzel Washington's 'The Equalizer' (Could F. Gary Gray Take His Place?)

Drive director, Nicolas Winding Refn, has pulled out of the feature film remake of the CBS 1980’s TV series, The Equalizer, for Columbia Pictures, with Denzel Washington in the lead role.

According to media sources, Refn and the studio couldn’t come to terms on a deal and has left the project. But not to worry, for you Refn fans. He still has a new film coming out this year, Only God Forgives, with his Drive star Ryan Gosling, which is set to be released on May 23rd.

As a result, the studio is looking for a replacement to quickly come in and take over the directing job; and two directors who were under consideration before Refn came on board were Pierre Morel (who directed Taken) and F. Gary Gray.

It is possible that Columbia might go back to either of them to come on board the project, or perhaps the studio may look for someone new altogether. We shall see.

Here’s the intro to the TV series with music by The Police’s Stuart Copeland.

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I'll do it!


I preferred Bronson when it was called Chopper.


I'm sorry to hear this. I happened to love Drive and thought it one of the best films of the year. Refn took a rather pedestrian script and transformed it into a stylistic thriller. I was really interested in how he'd approach this project and direct what would be an "edgier" Denzel.

I've seen the TV show the Equalizer and it was very good. Intriguing as a film.


Sergio, saw The Driver years ago. To be honest,
I was bored. Thought Drive was overrated. Loved
Bronson. Glad to see others are disappointed in
this news. My interest has vanished as well.

Miles Ellison

And my interest in seeing this just completely disappeared.

Adam Scott Thompson

Wow. That kills half my interest in this project (sorry, Denzel!).


I'm so disappointed with this news. I was really looking forward to what a collaboration between Refn and Denzel looked like. Ugh!!! This just killed my buzz.


Refn is a creative and stylized director. Morel and Gray are ordinary journeymen directors. The Equalizer could have been a special movie with Refn. The other candidates will make a generic movie that looks like every other action movie in theatres.

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