Briefly: Sony and Denzel Washington want to make a new/updated version of the classic ’80s TV series The Equalizer. It’s pretty easy to see why, as the role of a former intelligence agent who offers his skills pro bono to people in need seems like something that could very easily blend Washington’s appeal with modern economic concerns to achieve some of the same popularity of a film like Taken.
But getting someone to direct the film hasn’t been a quick process. The project has been in development for a while, but since Denzel came on it has seen the director’s chair occupied for a while by Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, Bronson). He moved on earlier this year. More recently, it looked like Rupert Wyatt (The Escapist, Rise of the Planet of the Apes) would make the film. But schedules didn’t work out, and Wyatt moved on. That leaves Sony looking for someone new.
Wyatt has a couple other big projects to do: he’s directing some TV (the pilot of Turn, for AMC) and just landed Nicholas Hoult to play the lead in his film adaptation of the novel Birdsong. [Deadline]
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Three Universal Pictures comic book adaptations are getting shifted around the release schedule.
- R.I.P.D. will still be released on July 19, but now it’s officially in 3D.
- Kick-Ass 2 moves back from June 28 to August 16
- 2 Guns moves up from August 16 to August 2.
Read the latest plot descriptions for each below. Read More »
Posted on Tuesday, February 19th, 2013 by Angie Han
Rupert Wyatt‘s plans to return for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes didn’t quite work out, but thanks to the success of Rise of the Planet of the Apes he’s had plenty of other options to choose from. Now, he may finally have found his next film.
Wyatt has entered early talks to helm The Equalizer, Sony’s action thriller based on the ’80s TV series. Denzel Washington has been on board for some time now to play the lead, a retired secret agent who tries to redeem himself from an ugly past by helping people in need. Hit the jump to keep reading.
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Posted on Friday, January 25th, 2013 by Angie Han
Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington have each done their fair share of action thrillers, but they’re only now teaming up for the first time in 2 Guns. Directed by Baltasar Kormakur based on the graphic novel by Steven Grant, the film follows a DEA agent and an undercover naval intelligence agent who are investigating each other.
An earlier incarnation of the project had David O. Russell looking to direct with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson in the lead roles, but now that the more comedic trio has been replaced by Kormakur, Wahlberg, and Washington, the movie looks like a straightforwardly gritty affair. Check out the first image after the jump.
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That didn’t last long. Right at the end of last year word hit that Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, Bronson) had taken up interest in directing Denzel Washington in The Equalizer. The film is meant to reinvent the ’80s TV show that starred Edward Woodward as a former black ops agent who begins to work pro bono for people in need. He creates a classified ad: “Got a problem? Odds against you? Call the Equalizer.” The script is by Richard Wenk and an April 11, 2014 release date is already penciled in.
If the idea of Refn making this sort of big, broad action thriller seemed a bit strange, you could look at it this way: a Denzel movie is pretty much guaranteed to sell, and we’ve known that Refn had ambitions to make studio pictures, if only on his own terms. If he and the actor (who would certainly have a lot of input on the film) could see eye to eye, then it might be a scenario that worked out for everyone.
But things didn’t work out, and Refn has reportedly already exited the project. Read More »
When Denzel Washington attaches himself to a script, it gets directors interested. That’s how Robert Zemeckis came aboard Flight, and now Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn has joined Washington on The Equalizer, a loose adaptation of the ’80s TV show.
Washington will play a former covert operative who, in an attempt to atone for previous sins, offers up his skills in the classified section of a newspaper stating: “Got a problem? Odds against you? Call the Equalizer.” Richard Wenk wrote the screenplay and production is set to start in the Spring of 2013, aimed at an April 11, 2014 release. Read more after the jump. Read More »
Since getting into filmmaking over thirty years ago, Robert Zemeckis has had an incredible career. He’s tackled multiple genres, won Oscars, written some of the most revered films ever and then, after about twenty years, he took a dramatic turn. Zemeckis began making films with a new technology called performance capture and experienced great success. Exploring in the playground of animation, and advancing a technology in its infancy, confirmed his innovative tendencies, but some argued that it began to overshadow his talent for storytelling.
That talent is back on display in Flight, Zemeckis’ first live action film in over a decade. It’s about an airline pilot named Whip (Denzel Washington) who lands a distressed plane while intoxicated. Is is a hero? A drunk? Can he be both? The film asks lots of complicated questions with not always complicated answers. Still, it’s filled with intense moments, emotional resonance, and plenty of surprises for the audience.
One thing that’s not a surprise is that Zemeckis has still got it, and that talent is well on display in several minutes of B-roll footage that’s been released. Check it out below. Read More »
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Posted on Tuesday, October 16th, 2012 by Angie Han
After a dozen-year stretch in Uncanny Valley, Robert Zemeckis has returned to the world of live-action with the substance abuse drama Flight. It’s not the smoothest ride. The film’s alcoholism plotline veers toward the generic, the symbolism is often so blunt as to be laughable, and the supporting players are mostly one-note.
What keeps it on course, however, is the compassionate but honest character study at its core. Zemeckis and screenwriter John Gatins (Real Steel) have an iron grip on who Captain William “Whip” Whitaker is and what makes him tick, and Denzel Washington‘s grounded performance maintains the audience’s sympathy without sugarcoating Whip’s nasty side.
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