Denzel Washington and Antoine Fuqua are together again. The Training Day star and director are getting ready to unleash their film adaptation on the 1980s TV show, The Equalizer, on the world. Columbia Pictures has high hopes for the movie, with the goal of it launching a Taken–style series for Washington- but with better production value. The 59 year old Oscar winner seems game to dive into the action genre, and The Equalizer could signal a new route for his career to explore.
According to Fuqua, we’re all going to be surprised at Washington’s physical prowess. “His hand-to-hand work is pretty nasty when the monster comes out,” says the director. “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.” He also expresses delight in the veteran actor’s intensity in the role of Robert McCall. “There’s a switch that (Washington) turns on and that’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 the director is quick to point out that they didn’t go the “superhero” route with this film. Their depiction of McCall is more like the John McClain from the first Die Hard than the McClain depicted in the more recent, cartoonish sequels. “[…]People still want humble heroes,” according to the director. To that end, Fuqua worked to shoot believable action sequences- many of which are performed by Washington himself. They even limited the use of guns because Fuqua didn’t want to detract from his star’s physical gifts.
As for Washington, he makes his intentions very clear with what drew him to this project, and it wasn’t the TV show. “The title doesn’t mean anything to me. It’s the material,” he tells USA Today. “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.”
So what does Denzel think of Columbia’s hope for an Equalizer franchise? “The audience will decide that,” he says. “You can’t make No. 2 before you make No. 1. It’s called show business. We’ve handled the show part of it. We’ll see how the business part goes.”
The Equalizer arrives on September 26.
SOURCE: USA Today