Nicolas Winding Refn to Direct 'The Equalizer' with Denzel Washington
Congratulations, Sony. You now have my attention for this adaptation of the 80s TV series The Equalizer. The project sounded like it might have a chance to be cool with Denzel Washington taking the lead role just over a year ago. But now Variety reports Drive and Bronson director Nicolas Winding Refn currently has an offer to direct the film, and negotiations for a deal should begin soon. Richard Wenk (The Expendables 2) is behind the script, and apparently a lot of directors, including Gavin O' Connor (Warrior) and Pierre Morel (Taken) were after the job. But Washington gave his seal of approval for Refn to direct.
For those who aren't familiar with the series, The Equalizer followed Robert McCall, an agent with a mysterious past who once worked for a top-secret agency where he did some pretty horrible things. The gritty and violent series follows his exploits as he decides to right wrongs against the persecuted by settling scores with their antagonists and assorted miscreants. It sounds like a role that will be similar to Washington's praised turn in Man of Fire, one of the actor's finest performances and maybe the best film that the late Tony Scott ever made.
This would certainly be Refn's most high profile project should a deal be finalized, and it's interesting to see him moving towards bigger studio films now. Of course, Refn has been interested in a property like Wonder Woman for awhile, so he definitely has a taste for some mainstream projects (or at least doing them in his own way). Teaming Refn with Washington should wield some interesting results, especially after what the director did with Ryan Gosling in Drive. Here's hoping it comes together quickly so we can see it sooner than later.