First announced over a year ago, when Russell Crowe was said to be attached to star, Sony Pictures’ big screen adaptation of the the late 80s CBS vigilante crime-solving series, The Equalizer, is apparently still very much on the studios’ slate, with Denzel Washington now as the man being eyed to star the film.
This evening brings word that Denzel is indeed going to star in the film, and according to Deadline, Sony has set 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, which I remember watching and liking, though I was a kid at the time, 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.