Though he was once attached to the long-brewing Scarface remake at Universal, writer-director Antoine Fuqua is beginning to redirect his attention toward The Equalizer 2, an action sequel that will herald a reunion with lead star Denzel Washington after the creative duo made off into the sunset to remake The Magnificent Seven in 2016.
Deadline has the scoop, revealing that Fuqua has not only signed a first-look deal with Sony, but The Equalizer 2 has now set its crosshairs on a September 14th, 2018 release. Production kicks off in the fall, as previously reported, though Antoine Fuqua is also keeping a close eye on a long-brewing passion project of his: a picture revolving around Fred Hampton, the “Black Panthers revolutionary who headed the Illinois chapter of the BPP and was deputy chairman of the national organization.”
It’s one of several nascent projects that Fuqua plans to usher in at Sony, according to Deadline, and it’s certainly the most promising. The outlet notes that the Black Panthers pic could go on to become his follow-up to The Equalizer 2, before offering up some context on the figure of Fred Hampton. Born in ’48, Hampton was an American activist and revolutionary who “was assassinated while sleeping at his apartment during a raid by the Chicago Police Department and FBI in December 1969, with his death later ruled a justifiable homicide.” Chris Smith had turned in a script, one based on the Jeffrey Haas’ novel, The Assassination Of Fred Hampton: How The FBI And The Chicago Police Murdered A Black Panther.”
On the topic of Fuqua’s new, first-look deal, Columbia Pictures president Sanford Panitch summed up the filmmaker as so: “He is the definition of a modern filmmaker who has mastered the mix of visual dramatic storytelling and strong characters. He makes films that are meant to be seen in movie theaters. We couldn’t be happier to work with him next on The Equalizer 2 – the first sequel that either he or Denzel has ever made.”
Truth be told, The Equalizer 2 has spent a little longer in the oven than first anticipated – particularly for a tight-knit thriller that scooped up a commendable $200 million at the box office – but scheduling issues quietly forced the action sequel onto the back-burner. It’ll be the first time Antoine Fuqua and Denzel Washington are actively involved in a movie sequel, and for that reason alone, you can color us intrigued. September 14th, 2018 is the date for your diaries.