While The Equalizer was way before my time, a remake starring Denzel Washington has been actively developed for the last couple of years. The production has had several road bumps along the way before finally landing a willing director; both Nicholas Winding Refn (Drive) and Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet Apes) were set to direct before Antoine Fuqua, the director who helped Denzel win the Best Actor Oscar for 2001s Training Day, joined.
With that said, it seems that the Denzel Washington vehicle has not released any new information in the months leading up to its September 26 release date. For instance, the last time the general public was given any information about the project was December’s first look at the title character. But finally, a USA Today article gives the world their newest glimpse of Denzel’s interpretation of Robert McCall, as well as, key details about the latest television remake.
Now for those who do not know, The Equalizer is a late 1980s CBS show about Robert McCall: a former spy who gives up the life to become a vigilante for the downtrodden, which he feels is a way to atone for his sins. But it appears that Denzel did not follow the show and joined the project because of the material: “The title doesn’t mean anything to me. It’s the material. It’s a classic story, the innocent girl and the guy coming in to save the day and kick some butt. You’ll get some popcorn and escape for a couple of hours.”
But speaking of the material, this ‘A-Team-like’ show was made famous by its supposed violent realism; and it seems that the images released thus far has attempted to emulate this. Now further add Denzel’s known intensity to the character of Robert McCall and you have the ingredients for a very dark, but different television remake. Fuqua describes Denzel’s intensity as “a switch that [Washington] turns on and it’s just scary. There’s a sustained intensity even in casual mode, like a panther. If it’s turned against you, you’re going to be in a bad place.”
But this is something we always knew about the famous New York actor: the real question is will this movie distinguish itself in the ‘over-saturated’ action market? Fuqua hopes to distinguish The Equalizer by making it more realistic; there are no “superhero” elements to it. Most of the action scenes are performed by the actor, which according to Fuqua, makes the sequences more believable; also, Fuqua limited the gunplay to enhance Washington’s physical performance.
“He really hits those mitts. And you imagine what he’ll do to you. You might underestimate him. That’s your first mistake… His hand-to-hand work is pretty nasty when the monster comes out. We used what was around him. You’d be surprised what he can do with a corkscrew. You’ll never open a bottle of wine the same way again.”
Besides his Oscar nominated performance in Flight, Denzel Washington has recently attempted to break into the action market: The Book of Eli, Safe House, and 2 Guns. But as of yet, these films have not given the actor a stable action franchise; but this could change with The Equalizer. Again, the planned release date for this remake is September 26: so expect a trailer in the coming months. I for one will see this movie, but hope that Nicholas Winding Refn’s comments are not any indication of the quality of the picture: “[I would] rather make a good movie that breaks even than a bad movie that makes money… Let’s put it like this: there’s a reason why I pulled out.”
What do you think of The Equalizer? Were you a fan of the show? Will Denzel and Fuqua do the show justice? Let us know in the comment section below.
Source: USA Today