CBS hosted a panel to promote the show, which will premiere on February 7 after the Super Bowl, during the network’s virtual session on Wednesday at the Television Critics Association 2021 Winter Press Tour. Queen Latifah spoke at the panel alongside series co-creators Andrew Marlowe and Terri Miller.
The upcoming show marks the latest in a string of “Equalizer” reboots. Denzel Washington starred as the titular character in the 2014 and 2018 film adaptations of the original television show — and though the upcoming CBS series is not directly related to either film, the brand-name awareness can’t hurt as the show debuts after the most-watched television event of the year.
Queen Latifah stars in the new “Equalizer” series as Robyn McCall, a woman with a mysterious background who uses her extensive skills to help those with nowhere else to turn. The show marks the first television starring role for Queen Latifah since Fox’s three-season “Star” musical drama, which concluded in 2019.
Trailers for “The Equalizer” have repeatedly mentioned Queen Latifah and her allies having special skills and superpowers, but Queen Latifah noted that the series was grounded in reality, and considers the repeated mentions of “powers” to be an allusion to the hero’s diverse skillsets.
“I think her powers is that she is extremely skillful at what she does and what she’s learned. She’s a leader and knows how to delegate,” Queen Latifah said during the TCA panel. “I think whats most important to her right now is that she’s done with all of that. She’s done working for the people who make the big decisions. She’s done with the greed and the uber powerful. She’s all about taking what she’s mastered deftly over the years and using it for everyone. That’s what drives her at this point. The people she couldn’t save are what makes her loose sleep.”
Also unlike the industry’s large superhero franchises, Marlowe noted that “The Equalizer” wasn’t interested in crossovers or directly tying the show into past “Equalizer” titles. He added that tie-ins weren’t being ruled out for future seasons but stressed the importance of keeping Queen Latifah’s character front and center throughout the show.
“The notion of the outsider who comes in and helps a little guy has been around for a long time but to have a black woman be the face of justice is really interesting,” Marlowe said. “This show is speaking very specifically to these times.”
CBS unveiled a teaser trailer for “The Equalizer” earlier in January, which can be viewed below: