Denzel Washington Has Reunited With Co-Star From His Best Movie

By Vic Medina | Published

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Denzel Washington fans: there’s good news, and even better news. The good news is the Oscar-winning actor is reuniting with actress Dakota Fanning, who starred with him 18 years ago in the action thriller Man on Fire. The even better news is that the pair will star together in The Equalizer 3, an action movie franchise that hasn’t disappointed us yet. The film is currently in development, with a theatrical release on September 1, 2023. Antoine Fuqua is expected to return as director, but has not yet been officially announced.

Based on the 1980s CBS series starring Edward Woodward, The Equalizer follows Robert McCall (Denzel Washington), a former government operative trying to live a quiet life of retirement. Whenever he meets people who need help, however, he puts his very particular, very violent set of skills back into action. The first Equalizer, released in 2014, starred Chloe Grace Moretz and saw Washington going up against the Russian mob, leaving a trail of dead gangsters in his wake. The film, a fantastic blend of Washington’s leading-man charisma and Fuqua’s relentless action set pieces, earned only a 60% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but audiences couldn’t get enough of it, as it grossed over $192 million worldwide. The Equalizer 2, released in 2018, starred Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian) and was just as successful, raking in over $190 million worldwide despite middling reviews from critics.

Denzel Washington confirmed that he would be doing a third Equalizer film back in January, in an interview with Vinnie Mancuso of Collider. “They have written the third Equalizer, so I’m scheduled to do that,” he said. “So I gotta get in shape and start beating people up again. I get to beat people up again. The tragedy of Macbeth and then going and beating some people up. Can’t get any better, right?” Sony Pictures, however, didn’t confirm the movie until April of this year, according to Variety.

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Dakota Fanning and Denzel Washington in Man on Fire (2004)

Man On Fire was released in 2004 and paired Denzel Washington with a then-10-year-old Dakota Fanning. The film saw Washington as a former CIA operative protecting the child (Fanning) of a wealthy family in Mexico. When she is kidnapped, Denzel goes on a bloody rampage to get her back. The film was one of a string of hits at the time for Fanning, and she easily transitioned into more adult roles. She most recently starred in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, The Alienist series for TNT, and The First Lady series for Showtime. Her other hits include War of the Worlds, I Am Sam, The Cat in the Hat, Coraline, and The Twilight Saga. Washington’s career is filled with hits and modern classics almost too long to list, but it is highlighted by Glory (earning him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar), Malcolm X, Crimson Tide, Training Day (winning the Best Actor Oscar for his performance), American Gangster, The Book of Eli, and Fences. He recently starred in The Tragedy of Macbeth for AppleTV+. He has earned a total of nine Oscar nominations for his acting performances.

Not much is known about the plot for The Equalizer 3, but we do know Richard Wenk, who wrote the first two films, will write the third. The film is being produced by Academy Award nominee Todd Black (Fences), who has produced most of Denzel Washington’s films in recent years. Jason Blumenthal, Steve Tisch and Washington himself are co-producing.