Reel Images | The Equalizer


by Max Evry | Coming Soon

It’s day 48 of 60 in the production of Antoine Fuqua’s adaptation of the cult 1980’s TV series The Equalizer, and all things being equal, it seems to be going pretty well. The footage shot so far is exciting and darkly dramatic, and star Denzel Washington seems to be on the verge of creating another iconic character that blends both his dramatic and tough guy chops.

In the original show which ran from 1985 to 1989, English actor Edward Woodward (The Wicker Man) dealt out justice free of charge for those who answered his personal ad seeking help. His ex-CIA character Robert McCall took out the trash in the form of rapists, murderers, drug dealers and various other scum-of-the-earth types. The setting for this big screen retelling has been transplanted from the grimy streets of New York to the blue-collar alleyways of Boston, most likely to keep it from crossing too far into Taxi Driver ripoff territory.

Gone are the cool car, fancy clothes and English accent, but one of the few things that hasn’t changed is the name of the main character, Robert McCall (Washington), his mysterious past as a covert military type and a passion for getting his vigilante on, in this case to help an underage prostitute named Teri (Chloë Grace Moretz) get out from under the thumb of the Russian mob. Fans of the show may also be wary of the fact that the film’s sole screenwriter Richard Wenk (The Expendables 2) had never seen a single episode of The Equalizer, something he felt was an asset when we talked to him.

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“The only elements we’ve retained are the title and the element of a man helping people,” Wenk explained. “In this case, in this movie, really helping the voiceless. I started writing this and decided he was a changer of circumstances for people whose circumstances probably would never change. That was the basic concept of the TV show, he put an ad in the paper and helped people who had no other recourse. In this movie there is no ad until the very end. He’s finding that his random acts of justice, so to speak, are who he is and that’s a place where he’ll find a home for himself.”

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Check out some images from The Equalizer, below: