Denzel Washington in The Equalizer

The Equalizer, directed by Antoine Fuqua and starring Denzel Washington in a version of the role that Edward Woodward made popular on TV in the ’80s, has barely even begun its marketing push, but a sequel is already under way. The first film opens on September 26, and so we haven’t yet seen a trailer. There’s only one official still (above). But The Wrap reports that test screening audiences have loved it, with one December screening delivering the highest-ever scores for an R-rated movie at Sony.

And so Richard Wenk (The Expendables 2, The Mechanic, 16 Blocks) has been hired to script the sequel. Read More »

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Jack and Jill

It seems like every few months, there’s a new article about how movie stardom just isn’t what it used to be, and how even the biggest names can no longer guarantee a box office smash. Nevertheless, the world’s most popular actors continue to get paid a lot, and not all of them actually make those hefty paychecks worth it.

According to Forbes, the worst value in Hollywood right now is Adam Sandler, whose Jack & Jill and That’s My Boy tanked horribly. He’s followed closely by Katherine Heigl and Reese Witherspoon, and at more of a distance by his pal Kevin James. Find out who the next six are after the jump.

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A dozen years ago, Antoine Fuqua‘s Training Day made Denzel Washington the first black man to win Best Actor since Sidney Poitier in 1964. The pair liked the results of their collaboration so much that they’ve been looking for an opportunity to work together again, and this year they finally got their chance when Fuqua signed on for the long-gestating crime thriller The Equalizer.

While the film won’t come out for another nine months, the first image from it has just hit the web. Check it out after the jump.

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uptown-saturday-night

Two of the biggest stars in the world are attached. A high-profile comedy director wants to make it his next film. There’s just one thing in the way – that pesky script. That seems to be the case with Uptown Saturday Night, a remake of the 1974 Sidney Poitier film starring Poitier and Bill Cosby. Adam McKay (Anchorman, Step Brothers) wants to make the film his next movie, and he’s got Will Smith and Denzel Washington set to play the lead roles. Now, in hopes to jump start the project to film next year, Warner Bros. has hired Nicholas Stoller (The Muppets, The Five-Year Engagement, Forgetting Sarah Marshall) to rewrite the script. Read More »

denzel-washington-safe-house-cuffs

Eventually Universal is going to run out of manly actors to cast in the Fast & Furious movies. That won’t happen soon, but the end point will come faster if big names turn down roles.

New guy Luke Evans held down the fort as the bad guy in the most recent film, and [REDACTED, for the few people who haven't seen the film or been spoiled] will show up as the baddie in the next. The pattern of introducing a new character (typically a villain) at the very end of one film, before expanding their role in the sequel that follows, is something Universal evidently wants to continue.

in a piece about the general state of original tentpoles in Hollywood, Deadline reveals that Denzel Washington could have been the next guy to drive against Dom Toretto, but the actor wasn’t interested. Read More »

2 Guns

One of the many projects that David O. Russell’s attached himself to and then detached himself from over the past several years is 2 Guns, an adaptation of a graphic novel by Steven Grant. He originally had Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson in mind for the lead roles, as two undercover federal agents who don’t realize the other is a lawman.

The picture fell into Baltasar Kormákur‘s hands after Russell left, with Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington starring. While Kormákur’s version doesn’t look quite as hilarious as Russell’s sounded, it’s retained an appealing streak of buddy-comedy humor that sets it apart from the other grim, gritty thrillers at the multiplex.

The film opens later this week, and Universal is making one last push with a final red-band trailer. Watch it after the jump.

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Denzel Washington Safe House Header

Briefly: Having Denzel Washington attached to star in the movie version of your yet to be published first novel isn’t a bad place to be. The actor could end up starring in Shovel Ready, a sci-fi thriller based on the forthcoming 2014 novel by Adam Sternbergh, who is culture editor at the New York Times Magazine.

There might be a similarity to Man on Fire; while the book takes place in a dystopian sci-fi future, it centers on “a garbageman-turned-hitman who opts to protect a young woman instead of killing her.” (Deadline also says part of the background includes people using “a virtual reality program to escape the catastrophic destruction of New York City.” So is there a little Virtuosity in this, too?) Regardless, there’s obviously some good potential here. And details on the book are pretty thin, since it doesn’t drop for six months, so there could well be a lot to separate it from the aforementioned Denzel films.

Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloë Grace Moretz has never been one to shy away from edgy roles, starting with her breakthrough turn as violent, foul-mouthed Hit-Girl in 2010′s Kick-Ass. Even so, her latest gig is bound to raise some eyebrows.

The 16-year-old actress will play a young prostitute in The Equalizer, Antoine Fuqua‘s big-screen adaptation of the ’80s TV series. Moretz joins Denzel Washington, who leads as a retired secret agent with a dark past. Hit the jump to find out how Moretz wound up with the part.

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