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Denzel Washington Is Sony’s ‘Equalizer’; Nicolas Winding Refn and Gareth Evans Among Rumored Helmers

Written by on July 23, 2012 

It took a while for the right pieces to snap together, but patience was only Sony Pictures’ virtue. More than seven months after they’d begun developing The Equalizer for Denzel Washington, Deadline says the studio have officially locked the star and will begin production in April on a mid-level budget that its star is getting a whole lot of. Nine months is probably a little longer than some would expect for the thing to get before cameras — you could have a healthy baby more quickly! — but they’ve shown a willingness to wait on this one, so the need to rush is certainly not apparent.

In what will be the start of Washington‘s first franchise, The Equalizer follows a man — named Robert McCall in the original ’80s TV series — employed as a “troubleshooter” for a company called “The Agency.” This line of business sees him do private investigating and business with a more physical bent, all in the name of doling out justice to those who are “truly deserving.”

The movie, scripted by Richard Wenk, is said to be somewhat in line with that, though it’s also “tailored to Washington’s skills,” with the character now being “a solitary, monastic figure who hates injustice and devotes himself to helping people who are being victimized.” To me, that hints at something much darker and gritter; there should also be some more clapping while simultaneously laughing.

Director-wise, Sony and Escape Artists are considering Nicolas Winding Refn, Gareth Evans (The Raid), Pierre Morel (Taken), and Gavin O’Connor (Warrior), and have already put some meetings into place. It’s a solid and eclectic collection, though the Frenchman is the only one I see as a real option, since the other three have too many projects on their plates to make it a real possibility. The Equalizer sounds like it has the potential to be a fun thriller starring a great actor, but one would be hard-pressed to see reasons behind dropping some better offers for it.

Is it good to see Washington go in the franchise direction? Who could direct The Equalizer among those picks?

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