theequalizer14

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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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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Antoine Fuqua

Paul Haggis, Nicolas Winding Refn, and Rupert Wyatt have all been attached to Sony’s The Equalizer at one point or other over the last few years. Now it’s Antoine Fuqua‘s turn to try and take the helm. The filmmaker has entered early talks to reunite with his Training Day star Denzel Washington for the action thriller, which is still hoping to shoot later this spring.

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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]

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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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 »

Just as we’re enjoying the last of 2012′s cinematic offerings, the latest edition of the Black List has hit the web. The annual survey highlights the hottest unproduced screenplays of the year, as based on the votes of hundreds of executives.

The term “unproduced” is used rather vaguely here. Some of these scripts (like Ivan Reitman‘s Draft Day and Wally Pfister‘s Transcendence) already have a director or star attached, while others are still floating around in search of the right studio or producer. The subjects and honorees range greatly as well. Nazi hunters, Hillary Clinton, the NFL, and time-traveling teens are among the subjects of this year’s winners, and the screenwriters run the gamut from industry newcomers to seasoned pros.

Hit the jump to read the full list.

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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 »

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