Is Denzel Washington about to replace his American Gangster co-star Russell Crowe in The Equalizer, Sony’s attempts to bring the 1980s avenging CBS series to the big screen?
Sony have pushed the proposed remake to their production shingle Escape Artists, who made The Taking of Pelham 123 remake, and just like that movie they once again have Washington “in mind” to star. The part does call for a middle-aged but sympathetic vigilante and this is definitely the sort of movie that Washington likes to be attracted to and come to think of it if he can gauge the interest of Tony Scott, this would be yet another entry in their older leading man action movies (Man on Fire, Deja Vu, Pelham 123, Unstoppable, etc).
The Equalizer was an American t.v. series that ran for four years in the late 80’s and each episode followed former secret agent Robert McCall (Edward Woodward in the show) who offers his services as a personal investigator or ‘fixer’ (sometimes depicted as a ‘vigilante’ who often crosses the line) in New York City for free to anyone so he can atone his sins of the past.
The film remake was originally conceived as a Paul Haggis written and directed project that he would make with Crowe with whom he had just made The Next Three Days but that was a year ago and things have now moved on. A few years before that popular crime novelists Michael Connelly and Terrill Lee Lankford were penning a script for a remake that Lucky Number Slevin director Paul McGuigan would helm, likely with Bruce Willis in the leading role.
Sadly the film has now landed in the hands of script writer Richard Wenk (16 Blocks, The Mechanic) so maybe we shouldn’t expect anything too much above from Jason Statham level dumb action material and Washington might need some convincing.
No talks or even an offer has been forthcoming to Washington yet but whether he does want to star will probably come down to what kind of director he can convince to make it with him. As I say, Tony Scott is the man and I imagine it could be a very quick go-project in 2012 if he got interested. Washington just loves these projects of middle-aged men atoning their past actions and I think this is one that will hold great attraction for him.