Sony has once again moved the release date for vigilante sequel The Equalizer 2. The Equalizer franchise began with the 1985 CBS series of the same name, which starred Edward Woodward as Robert McCall. McCall is a retired intelligence officer who becomes The Equalizer, a vigilante offering his skills to ordinary people who can’t go to the authorities for help. The show ran for 4 seasons, with Woodward receiving acclaim for his performance.
While Russell Crowe was attached to a potential film adaptation of The Equalizer in 2010, the role ultimately went to Denzel Washington. The film reteamed him with his Training Day director Antoine Fuqua and reimagined the character of McCall as a retired CIA agent who confronts the Russian mafia when they hurt a young prostitute he befriends. While the movie received a mixed critical reception, Washington’s performance and the stylish action scenes saw the movie grossing close to $200 million worldwide, and a sequel was announced shortly afterwards.
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The release date for The Equalizer 2 has shifted around a few times; it was originally slated for September 14, before moving to August 10 and again to August 3. Now Deadline is reporting that Sony has set the date for July 20, which should leave the sequel relatively free of competition. An R-rated action movie should also act as counter-programming for viewers feeling a little fatigued by summer blockbuster season.
While Washington tended to avoid action roles in the early stages of his career, he’s built up a steady selection of them in recent years, including Safe House, 2 Guns and The Magnificent Seven, which was another reunion with Antoine Fuqua. The Equalizer 2 will also mark the actor’s first franchise role, and the first time in his movie career he’s returned to a character. The premise of the first film was hardly original, but Washington’s performance elevated it above a standard action movie and gave the veteran star an interesting character to play.
No story details have been revealed for The Equalizer 2 so far, but both Melissa Leo and Bill Pullman will reprise their roles from the original as CIA friends of McCall, and Narcos star Pedro Pascal will play the new antagonist. The film recently found itself in headlines due to a real-life shooting incident in Boston. Two security guards were injured in the incident, but thankfully no one was killed and the two suspects were arrested soon after. The movie wasn’t filming at the time of the shooting, so Washington and most of the crew weren’t present on-set.
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