Dec 13, 2011
Tradecraft: The Equalizer Returns
After a series of stops and starts with various directors, various studios and various stars attached (I think Russell Crowe was the last name I heard), Variety reports that the long-in-the-works, on again off again big screen version of the Eighties spy show The Equalizer is back on. This time the studio is Sony, and the star is Denzel Washington. Richard Wenk (who wrote the Jason Statham Mechanic remake and contributed to the Expendables 2 script) will write the script which, according to the trade, "revolves around a former secret agent who offers his investigative services in order to atone for his past sins..." exactly like the TV show. The 1985-89 show starred the great Edward Woodward as McCall, the former spook who lent his services to people with the odds against them and nowhere else to turn. The intertextual thing going on there was that Woodward had played a moody government assassin years earlier on Callan (which happens to be one of the best spy shows of all time). Callan had to do some terrible things that weighed heavily on his conscience, and McCall easily could have been what he became a few decades later. It's too bad that Washington doesn't bring the same ex-spy extratextual baggage that, say, Timothy Dalton would have... but then he has the clout to get a movie greenlit. And I think Washington will be good. Done right, this should do for him what Taken did for Liam Neeson. McCall is the epitome of the old guy who can kick your ass. Most of all, though, I hope the movie gets the remaining seasons of the show released on DVD. Universal put out Season One a few years ago, and then dropped the ball. Denzel Washington will next be seen playing a secret agent in Safe House.