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 »

A script that finds serious studio favor can push a project from long-simmering development into full boil, and that seems to have happened with Sony and The Equalizer. Based on the TV series in which Edward Woodward played a former covert ops expert who donates his services to people in trouble, the film will star Denzel Washington as a new version of the title character.

Richard Wenk recently turned in a new script draft, and Sony likes it enough to push for an April 2013 start date, with a shoot likely to take place in Boston. Some details about the new Equalizer are after the break. Read More »

Denzel Washington May Be ‘The Equalizer’

Looks like Paul Haggis and Russell Crowe aren’t going to revive ’80s TV show The Equalizer, after all. Last year Haggis was in talks to write a big-screen version of the show that starred Edward Woodward as a retired secret agent who tries to atone for his violent past by offering his services, pro bono, to those in need. The film also had Crowe attached to play the lead role, and it was easy to guess how he’d work out in the role originated by Woodward.

But things change, and in the year since we last heard about the project both Haggis and Crowe have evidently moved on. Today Sony released a statement about the company’s continuing first-look deal with production company Escape Artists. The release runs down several in-development projects, one of which is The Equalizer. It says that the film is being developed as a starring vehicle for Denzel Washington. Read More »

In June of this year we got word that the long-rumored TV-to-film version of The Equalizer was actually moving forward with Russell Crowe attached to the role originated by the late Edward Woodward. At the time there was no script, and there is still no script, but that could change soon. Paul Haggis, who just directed Crowe in The Next Three Days, is in negotiations to write. Read More »

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Depending on how closely you’ve paid attention to TV to film developments in the past few years your reaction to that headline is either going to be “um…what?” or “so, it finally happened.”

Regardless, I guess that whole thrust towards developing original ideas hasn’t kicked in yet (obviously) because out of nowhere comes word that Russell Crowe is attached to play the Edward Woodward role in a big-screen revival of the ’80s TV show The Equalizer. This was a rumor a few years ago when Mace Neufeld and the Weinstein Brothers started developing an Equalizer film, and now may become fact. Read More »

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