For the first time in his versatile career, Denzel Washington will be toplining a franchise – the actor is signed on to reprise the role of former CIA agent Robert McCall in The Equalizer 2, which Sony has just set for release on September 29, 2017.
Little is known about the follow-up to last September’s sleeper hit, which had Sony’s highest-rated test screening for an R-rated movie before going on to earn almost $200 million against a budget of $55 million. Those are definitely franchise numbers, so it’s no surprise to have official confirmation of a date for the sequel (which we can all dream will simply be called The Sequalizer).
Antoine Fuqua, one of Hollywood’s most in-demand action helmers who made Training Day with Washington and most recently shot boxing drama Southpaw with an Oscar-tipped Jake Gyllenhaal, directed the first installment and he’s believed to be contracted for the follow-up. Richard Wenk is again penning the script.
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The Equalizer was a very solidly made, if unambitious actioner, but Washington’s committed performance as McCall, a man with a very particular set of skills that came in handy when he took on members of the Russian mafia operating out of Boston, was what made it intensely watchable. Given that the actor is back for the sequel, it’s easy to get excited about what could be a Taken-style franchise (though hopefully with longer, sturdier legs) for an absolutely terrific performer.
No word yet on whether any of the other cast members from the first film, including Chloe Grace Moretz, Melissa Leo and Bill Pullman, will be recruited for The Equalizer 2, though Fuqua previously stated that any follow-up could go international, so maybe not.
I’ll keep my ear to the ground, but in the meantime, rejoice in confirmation that The Equalizer 2 is coming our way in 2017.