Denzel Washington Joins ‘The Equalizer’ In Hopes Of Finally Playing Someone Who Survives To the End Credits

Adapting “classic” TV shows into big screen features is a risky venture that more often than not results in disappointment. But this year’s critical and box-office hit redo of 21 Jump Street shows that it can work if the right people are involved (as opposed to say, the folks behind Dark Shadows). The Equalizer was a cool CBS show from the ’80s about an ex-secret agent who now used his very particular set of skills to help those in need. Unless they’re illiterate. Because the only way to reach him is by answering the want ad he places in NYC newspapers. Edward Woodward played the title character, Robert McCall, and for four seasons he took out the trash with style, grace, and a stainless steel Walther PPK pistol.

Per Deadline Wherever (via Cinema Blend), Denzel Washington has officially signed on for the big screen adaptation of the series. The hope is this will be the beginning of a new franchise, the first for Washington (unless you count Deja Vu and the upcoming sequel Deja Vu Again). The details from the series will be altered, but the gist of the story, an ex-agent who uses his deadly skills to protect strangers, remains the same. Production is slated to begin next April.

Washington has quite a bit of experience playing men familiar in the art of killing, but more often than not those characters eat it in the third act. Good, bad, doesn’t matter. Washington dies in his movies more than any other lead actor. That’s a fact that I haven’t yet confirmed with research, but it sounds right doesn’t it?

The film is set (as of now) to be budgeted around the $50m mark with Washington’s standard fee eating up 40% of that. It feels a little low (the budget, not his fee), but Safe House was made for under $85m… shave off a few explosions, the exotic locale and the second lead actor, and it just might work.

Rob is the Chief Film Critic of Film School Rejects. He doesn't eat cheese on weekdays.

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