Denzel Washington Could Be The Equalizer

Update: He's in!

Update: What a difference a year makes. Deadline is now reporting that Washington is in the midst of closing his deal and that Sony is now meeting with directors to have the movie ready to start shooting next April. Amongst the names on the studio’s list are such notables as Gareth Evans, Gavin O’Connor and Nicolas Winding Refn. The script, with a current draft by Richard Wenk, spins off from the basic premise of the TV series with Washington as a loner who devotes himself to dishing out vigilante justice and helping the helpless…

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There’s been little movement of late on the attempt to bring ‘80s TV drama The Equalizer to the big screen. Back in June 2010, it was reported that Russell Crowe was looking to take over the role made famous by the late, great Edward Woodward. And then in the following September, it appeared as if Crowe’s The Next Three Days director Paul Haggis would be writing the script. Since then? Silence. Tumbleweeds. The sound of a lonely bell tolling in a tower. But now there’s… Well, not exactly movement, more a statement of intent as film studio Sony and production company Escape Artists are busy developing the idea as a vehicle for Denzel Washington.

Sitting in the middle of a press release sent out by the two companies and picked up by Coming Soon, there’s a reference to the film, with producer Alex Siskind attached and Washington very much in the sights as a potential Robert McCall. But there’s no word on whether talks have even properly started yet, so until they do, this one stays firmly in the rumour file. There's no sign of Crowe or Haggis still being involved.

The Equalizer has been bubbling in the primordial development soup since at least 2005 when Harvey Weinstein nabbed the rights. A couple of directors and writers have come and gone since then, but the Crowe announcement also included word that Escape Artists had taken over the title and would be shopping it to studios. The new press statement makes it clear that Sony will now be the home for the company's projects.

And the others on the list? They include the ongoing attempt to craft a new Masters Of The Universe film, Shauna Cross’ comedy Rumspringa and Nick Stoller and Jason Segel’s latest collaboration, Sex Tape. No, it’s not the two of them – it’s about a couple (Segel and possibly Reese Witherspoon) who must track down an intimate video when it goes missing…