When it was announced a couple of months ago that Nicolas Winding Refn had signed on to direct The Equalizer for Sony, it instantly went from being just another studio attempt to peddle ’80s nostalgia to something that had the potential to be a genuinely great movie. Denzel Washington was an intriguing choice for the lead role, but considering Refn’s resume and his refusal to shy away from violence, this team-up made it a very exciting prospect indeed. Sadly, Refn’s deal ended up falling apart at the last minute, leaving Sony in search of a new director. Now this week appears that they have located a replacement, and although it’s someone with a decent track record, my enthusiasm for the project has still dropped considerably.
According to Deadline, Rise of the Planet of the Apes helmer Rupert Wyatt is in early talks to take over The Equalizer for Sony Pictures and Escape Artists. He’s not yet confirmed for the job, partially because he still has an option to direct a movie for Fox that is a holdover from the Rise of the Planet of the Apes sequel (which is now being handled by Matt Reeves). He is also supposed to direct the pilot episode of Turn, the upcoming AMC series about the Culper Ring.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes was only Wyatt’s second movie, but I’ve heard good things about his first movie, The Escapist, which may actually be a better point of reference for this project. Either way, Sony is eager to move forward with The Equalizer, which is scheduled to start production in June. Does this news make you more or less excited for The Equalizer?