It was always expected to be a franchise for Denzel Washington (although, quite frankly, I think a wonderful opportunity was missed with Walter Mosley’s Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins crime series, after Washington played the fictional private investigator in “Devil in a Blue Dress”), so it shouldn’t be a surprise that Sony is now officially moving ahead with a sequel to last year’s “The Equalizer” (a film I was underwhelmed by actually, expecting more than what was delivered by director Antoine Fuqua and screenwriter Richard Wenk).
The first film in what will be a vigilante action thriller franchise loosely based on the television series of the same name, premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival last September, and was released worldwide on September 26. It received mixed to positive reviews, and earned a box office gross of over $101 million domestically, on a budget of $55 million (and another $90 million overseas). So, it wasn’t quite what you’d call a blockbuster for Sony Pictures, but it was a financial success – which I’m sure was of influence on whether to pursue a second film.
The studio has now set a September 2, 2017 release date for the sequel – almost exactly 3 years after the original opened.
No details on plot yet, or expected delivery date, or whether Fuqua will return to direct (Washington is fully expected to reprise his role).
The pair (Washington and Fuqua) are currently in production on MGM’s remake of “The Magnificent Seven” – the 1960 American western directed by John Sturges, which was itself a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s “Seven Samurai.”