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Denzel Washington as THE EQUALIZER?

Hollywood has been kicking around THE EQUALIZER for years now.  Award-winning author Michael Connelly (of Harry Bosch fame) and Terrill Lee Lankford to wrote a screenplay for the Weinstein company with Paul McGuigan (WICKER PARK, LUCKY NUMBER SLEVIN) directing. But financial issues made that version fade away.

Now Sony Pictures wants Oscar winner Denzel Washington to step into the shoes of Edward Woodward in the film version of THE EQUALIZER. Sony is partnering with Escape Artist productions. EA has mixed big budget thrillers (THE TAKING OF 1-2-3 PELHAM) with dramas (SEVEN POUNDS). They previously worked with Washingon on PELHAM and THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS.

The original series starred Edward Woodward as Robert McCall, a former government agent that helped those in need. He ran an ad in the want ads reading “GOT A PROBLEM? ODDS AGAINST YOU? CALL THE EQUALIZER! ” Woodward won a Golden Globe in 1987. In the same year, the show picked up an Edgar for the episode The Cup. The Equalizer aired on CBS from 1985 to 1989.

I don’t see any problems with Washington playing McCall. While the series had action, McCall was a cool operator that always kept his eye on the ball and rarely allowed the situation to get the best of him. Denzel, now 56, is the right age and has generally played characters that rely more on their brains than brawn.

But this is far from a done deal. No writers or director has been attached. How about David Cronenberg? It is not as crazy as it sounds, his work on HISTORY OF VIOLENCE and EASTERN PROMISES proved he could deliver dramatic crime dramas.