As franchises become ever more important to studios, executives are looking to get a start on sequels earlier than ever. Forget waiting until the first film hits the box office, or even when the buzz starts to become positive. Sony is starting work on an Equalizer sequel – a Sequelizer? – before the first film has even finished post-production.
We’re still seven months away (in the US; the UK doesn’t get the film until October) from the Denzel Washington movie’s release, but the studio has decided to commission writer Richard Wenk to begin working on a sequel script. The thinking is, according to The Wrap, that test screening audiences have been responding so positively to the cuts shown so far that it’s time to get the second film in motion. Hiring a writer is, of course, the easiest, least pricey early stage.
The current Equalizer, which has Antoine Fuqua calling the shots, sees Washington as Robert McCall, a version of the character originally played on TV by Edward Woodward. This take on the man is a former intelligence operative who decides he wants to live a more peaceful life in Boston. But when a young prostitute named Teri (Chloe Grace Moretz) needs his help, he’ll have to use all his old skills to face down Russian mobsters.
A big question for any sequel would be whether Washington would want to return, as he’s never made a sequel and his original contract doesn’t include an option for one. That would likely lead to a big payday for the actor if he does sign back on.
With Melissa Leo, Bill Pullman, Haley Bennett, David Harbour and Marton Csokas also in the cast, The Equalizer will arrive in UK cinemas on October 10.