The Equalizer looking at new director
It has been some time since we first heard about The Equalizer film in fact I first wrote about it back in 2006, the story of a man who was once an agent for some shadowy government agency who has opened a private business to help people and clear his own conscience at the same time, a role made famous by the great Edward Woodward.
Since then there have been a number of updates and we've had Paul McGuigan directing, Michael Connelly and Terrill Lee Lankford writing, rumours of John Singleton directing, rumours of Jason Statham starring, Paul Haggis was negotiating to write the script, then Richard Wenk was writing with Denzel Washington starring. Finally we heard that the director was being replaced and Nicolas Winding Refn was on board. Well, that was until things changed again.
While in December we heard the news that Nicolas Winding Refn was looking to take the lead on the film version of the television series The Equalizer come January the news through Collider was that Refn wasn't joining the film but Denzel Washington remained, the latter being the good news joining the other rumour that Sony was still keen on developing the film.
Now we're here in February and we're hearing that the latest director being looked to for the project is Rupert Wyatt, director of The Escapist (Filmstalker review) and Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The article in Variety says that the script comes from the Richard Wenk iteration and that Denzel Washington is still attached.
Considering Washington's performance in Flight (Filmstalker review) I'd be really keen to see him appear in The Equalizer, his character there and in other roles lately seemed to have moved away from the more traditional Washington roles and more towards a character that would work for The Equalizer.
I still think this idea has a lot of potential however they really have to keep some of the core premises of the television series otherwise it could so easily become just another action film with Washington at the helm. It needs to have that feeling of the lead character being haunted by the things he's done in the past, the idea that doing these deeds for real life people that he might atone for what he has done in his secret work for this shadowy agency. He needs to be rough, on the edge of going too far, carrying a menace that comes forward when he's under pressure. If they can keep those qualities of the character then this film could be something interesting, especially with Washington at the fore.
I think Wyatt is a good directing choice too, consider The Escapist (Filmstalker review) for an idea of why he would fit the bill so well. That film carries a great style and sense of character that would fit well with The Equalizer. Of course he's got to get the role and the script has to be right, but let's see how that goes.