Nicolas Winding Refn Leaves 'The Equalizer' with Denzel Washington
Earlier this week, we got a quick glimpse at the first footage from Only God Forgives, the new collaboration between the Drive filmmaking team of actor Ryan Gosling and Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn. Refn has been in high demand ever since Drive came out, and it was reported that one of his next projects would be a film adaptation of a 1980s television series called The Equalizer with Denzel Washington set to star. Now it looks like the director will have to put those plans in reverse, since Collider is reporting that the deal between Refn and Sony Pictures has fallen through at the last minute for unknown reasons.
The TV series, about a middle aged former intelligence officer who helps those in need, was heralded for its "violent realism," which seemed like a great fit for Refn's talents depicting violence on screen. But just because Refn won't be directing doesn't mean the project has fallen into obscurity; in fact, Sony is actively searching for another director to take over so production can get underway in May of this year. But with a huge name like Denzel Washington still attached, it shouldn't be difficult to attract a new talent.
However, I'm disappointed that we won't see what a Washington/Refn team-up looks like (at least not with this project anyway), but here's hoping Sony can lure someone equally interesting behind the camera to give The Equalizer a spark of good buzz as it heads into production in a few months. They better move quickly on hiring someone, though, because preproduction and planning can't be glossed over. Stay tuned.