Nicolas Winding Refn in Talks for Denzel Washington's 'Equalizer'

Denzel Washington

Most movies based on TV shows don't have top-shelf stars or directors, but Sony's The Equalizer could end up getting both.

The Hollywood Reporter's sources say Nicolas Winding Refn is in "early talks" to direct the Denzel Washington-led film, which seeks to update the hit 1985-89 CBS crime drama for a younger generation (and a bigger screen).

As *cough* older readers may recall, the series starred Edward Woodward a retired spy who used his golden years to go around helping those in need (usually with a gun). Still relatively popular at the time of its cancellation, the show inspired a number of later series (such as Burn Notice and Person of Interest) and has maintained something of a cult following over the years, thanks to Woodward's timeless British charm (and that cool theme song, performed by Stewart Copeland of the Police).

Washington's Equalizer will possess very little in the way of British anything, but it sounds like he'll be a lot more hard-hitting, based on the studio's description of the new character as "a veteran covert operative who, seeking redemption for his dark deeds, quits a CIA-like agency and puts a classified advertisement in the paper that reads simply: 'Got a problem? Odds against you? Call the Equalizer.'"

It all sounds a little distressingly boilerplate, but Refn's presence would seem to indicate a certain level of smarts not ordinarily found in your average action thriller. On the other hand, given that this is just the latest in a string of retreads Refn has added to his dance card (including the Logan's Run and Barbarella remakes), maybe he just has a thing for the films and TV shows of his youth.

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Jeff is an entertainment writer and editor whose work currently appears at a variety of sites, including Rotten Tomatoes, Paste, American Songwriter, Popdose, Dadnabbit, Diffuser, and Ultimate Classic Rock.

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