At the moment he’s “hovering” around a comedy, having not done a great many of those in his career (although, he jokes, “I’ve done some that have turned out to be tragedies!”). The role he’d really like to play is that of jazz legend Thelonious Monk; he has a script, and ponders that “I’m talking about it more, so maybe I’m talking myself into it.”
A piece from a longer profile in the UK Guadian paper on Denzel Washington (h/t The Playlist); Safe House was the focus of the piece (since it’s Denzel’s latest), but they delved into other subjects, so feel free to read the piece in full if you’d like.
Unlike Will Smith’s IMDB page (specifically the “Projects In Development” section) you might be surprised to know that Denzel doesn’t actually have a lot on the horizon, except the 2 projects we’ve already covered – Flight , the Robert Zemeckis project, and 2 Guns, which was recently announced, in which he’ll be starring opposite Mark Wahlberg.
That’s it! The younger Will Smith on the hand, that OTHER black male Hollywood A-Lister, has at least 20. I’m sure Denzel likely won’t be starving for work anytime soon; he’s had a movie in theaters every single year since 1995. Non-stop work. They haven’t all been great, but he’s one of the few steadily employed.
But given the roles he’s taken recently – a trend we’ve noted on S&A, specifically starring opposite/alongside young white male leads – one has to wonder if these are the majority of the kinds of roles being offered him, or if he’s being less selective and just taking what have been so-so roles in so-so flicks.
The last film he starred in that grossed over $100 million dollars domestically, in which he was the MAIN or SOLE draw was probably Remember The Titans in the year 2000. Book Of Eli came close, but didn’t make it; And American Gangster grossed $130 million domestically, but I’d argue that the presence of Russell Crowe and the a-list director behind it Ridley Scott probably also had something to do with those numbers.
So, maybe the questions beckons to be asked: IS Denzel still a major draw? And I’m asking seriously. Safe House opened quite well this weekend, making almost $40 million, which is big. So maybe the answer is a resounding YES. But then you have to start to wonder how much of that was because of Denzel’s presence, if he’s jumping on a new project to share equal billing with friggin’ Mark Wahlberg.
Is he moving into Morgan Freeman territory as he gets older?
Anyway… as for this comedy that he’s said to be “hovering,” I have no idea what it could be. But it may actually be a nice change of pace for him because he hasn’t done anything comedic in awhile – since The Preacher’s Wife in 1996.
And the Thelonious Monk project… well, he says he has a script, but seems to be wavering about whether he’s going to do it or not. A follow-up question would be whether a Thelonious Monk project starring Denzel Washington will easily attract financing, or if he’ll have some struggles like Don Cheadle has had in getting his Miles Davis film financed and produced.
Read the full Guardian piece HERE.