training day prequel

Antoine Fuqua‘s 2001 Training Day was a hit and won Denzel Washington a Best Actor Oscar – but is anyone eager for another film set in the same world? Warner Bros. certainly thinks so, and they’re currently developing a Training Day prequel. The prequel will follow a younger version of Washington’s character, corrupt cop Alonzo Harris, which means the filmmakers don’t have to worry about bringing Washington back. Unless they want to use some of that fancy digital de-aging that’s all the rage these days.

Collider broke the news about the Training Day prequel, stating that the movie takes place “late April of 1992 — two days before the Rodney King verdict was delivered. Los Angeles was already a powder keg just waiting to explode that week, and the verdict led to the L.A. riots.” In the original Training Day, Ethan Hawke played a rookie cop who is partnered with veteran LAPD Detective Alonzo Harris, played by Denzel Washington. Hawke’s character wants to do things by the book, but Washington’s Harris is corrupt to the extreme and ends up getting Hawke in several life-threatening situations.

This prequel would follow a younger Harris, which could mean a lot of things. Is he still going to be a corrupt cop, or will this be the start of his career, back when he was still a good cop on the verge of going bad? In any case, Washington is unlikely to return. Collider theorizes that Washington’s son, John David Washington, might be brought in to play the younger version of his father, and that’s not a bad idea. The younger Washington established himself with a star-making turn in BlacKkKlansman, and will next be seen in Christopher Nolan’s Tenet.

Training Day was a well-made film, but I’d argue that its script (written by David Ayer) was a tad simplistic. What made the movie special were the performances of Washington and Hawke. Washington got to ham it up a bit as the corrupt Alonso while Hawke brought his usual affable charm to the role of a good cop getting a harsh lesson in reality. Making a follow-up film without either of these actors doesn’t exactly sound like the best idea.

This won’t be the first time Training Day inspired further pieces of entertainment. In 2017, CBS launched a Training Day TV series, with the late, great Bill Paxton playing a corrupt cop, and Justin Cornwell as his rookie partner. The series only lasted one season before being canceled. The Training Day prequel is still in very early stages, so there’s no filmmaker attached yet. And while there’s not a script at the moment, Warner Bros. has brought in writer Nick Yarborough to pen one.

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