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Denzel Washington Gets His ‘Equalizer’ Female Lead + Samuel L Jackson’s ‘Kite’ Picked Up

Denzel Washington Gets His 'Equalizer' Female Lead + Samuel L Jackson's 'Kite' Picked Up

Chloe Moretz is said to have impressed both Denzel Washington and the film’s producers and director so much in a “chemistry read” with Denzel that they’ve decided to essentially rewrite the role she’s been offered in the film, which was initially for a twenty-something prostitute. Moretz is 16 years old. 

But looking at her resume, despite her age, she certainly hasn’t shied away from edgier roles – see the upcoming Kimberly Peirce-directed Carrie, and of course playing Hit-Girl in the Kick-Ass franchise.

By the way, Antoine Fuqua will direct The Equalizer for Sony Pictures and Escape Artists, from a script written by Richard Wenk. Director Nicolas Winding Refn had the job initially, but then walked away from it, after he and the studio couldn’t reach an agreement. 

It’ll be a reteaming of the Training Day director with his star in that films, which won Denzel his first Best Actor Oscar, to the chagrin of many. 

The reportedly $50 million project is said to be designed to launch the first film franchise for Mr Washington – hence, if the first film does well, expect sequels.

The TV series the film is based on 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).

No official synopsis for the film yet, but it’s expected to follow the basic premise of the TV series.

With Fuqua helming, this probably means we should expect a more hard-hitting, raw, gritty, R-rated kind of Equalizer, and not the PG/PG-13 series that was the TV show. This’ll probably be more like Denzel Washington in Man On Fire mode.

Production is set to begin in this year, so I’d look for a 2014 debut.

Secondly, The Weinstein Company has acquired worldwide rights to the live-action remake of Yasuomi Umetsu’s Japanese anime film Kite.

Samuel L. Jackson stars in the film adaptation with South African director Ralph Ziman, helming.

Ziman’s last film was 2008’s Gangster’s Paradise: Jerusalema, a film I wrote about on my old blog (S&A wasn’t around at the time), which follows the rise of a young, small-time hoodlum who rises to become a crime lord, tracing his journey from the years just before and after the end of Apartheid in South Africa.

Kite, in short, centers on a young girl named Sawa, orphaned in her early teens, after her parents are brutallty murdered, who is trained to become a hitman (or is it hitwoman?) for a pair of detectives who control her.

The DVD description of the original Kite states: “College student by day, vigilante by night, Sawa protects the innocent and mercilessly kills criminals in this intense Japanese anime.

It was banned in some countries due to its depictions of extreme violence, strong sexuality and nudity, including graphic rape scenes involving a very young Sawa.

However, this English-language remake will reportedly be a character-driven action film, that charts the story of Sawa (to be played by India Eisley), who lives in a failed state, where a corrupt security force profits on the trafficking of young women. When Sawa’s policeman father is killed, she vows to find and take out the murderer, with the help of her father’s ex-partner, Karl Aker (played by Samuel L. Jackson).

There’s a surprising twist central to Jackson’s character that I won’t reveal, although you could probably find it online if you searched.

It looks like it’ll be Jackson’s next work, as principal photography has just wrapped in Johannesburg.

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