Denzel Washington Confirmed As 'The Equalizer;' Tom Cruise Sci-Fi Film 'All You Need Is Kill' Greenlit

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. Deadline says that while the basic TV premise is the jumping off point for this film, the new script "takes off in its own way, tailored to Washington's skills. He'll play a solitary, monastic figure who hates injustice and devotes himself to helping people who are being victimized." Which sounds... well, pretty much like the TV show.

Who'll direct? That's a good question, and the site lists a studio wishlist featuring attention-getting names such as Pierre Morel (Taken), Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, Bronson), Gavin O'Connor (Warrior) and Gareth Evans (The Raid). Refn and Evans seem unlikely, as they've got plenty of films on their schedule already, but we'll wait and see who Sony chooses, and how much money they decide to offer. One of those guys might put something on hold in order to take a big paycheck on a studio film that should move like clockwork.

And while we're on the subject of films moving forward, All You Need is Kill has been greenlit by Warner Bros, and Tom Cruise is in London now to prep for the shoot with director Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity).

The film retained its title (there was talk of one point about giving it a new name, and that could still happen) but we know that the script has been reworked somewhat from the Dante Harper draft that set it in motion at Warner Bros. Joby Harold, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci all contributed, and Cruise's Jack Reacher writer/director Christopher McQuarrie has reportedly been hired for rewrite work, too.

So while the basic idea of the film is the same (a soldier in a future war between Earth and Aliens lives out the last hours of his life over and over again) some of the specifics, starting with the lead character's age, are likely different from the early draft and Hiroshi Sakurazaka's source novel. [Deadline]