Denzel Washington’s Newest Movie Faces Serious Lawsuit

By Robert Scucci | Published

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Denzel Washington’s The Equalizer 3 is premiering this weekend, but all is not well with Fuqua Films, the production company behind the upcoming action thriller film. According to The Hollywood Reporter, director Antoine Fuqua was served a lawsuit on August 28, 2023, by Paul Lozada, a longtime consultant and advisor.

The lawsuit alleges that Lozada, who worked with Fuqua in the past on titles like Training Day, Tears of the Sun, and The Equalizer, was not properly credited or compensated for providing a wealth of information that would make the upcoming film more authentic in its delivery.

Paul Lozada is suing The Equalizer 3 director Antoine Fuqua for compensation on the movie

The Equalizer 3 will be the final installment of the Equalizer trilogy, and sees Denzel Washington reprising his role as DIA officer Robert McCall. Set in Italy, the upcoming film leans heavily into the inner workings of the Italian Mafia Crime Group known as Camorra.

the equalizer 3

Lozada’s complaint alleges that he entered an oral contract with Fuqua, leading him to reasonably believe that he would be given his usual compensation and credit for his research, consulting, and subsequent review of the script to make sure the information portrayed in the movie was accurate. It’s unlikely the lawsuit impacts the release of this next Denzel Washington film.

According to the complaint, Lozada is a former San Francisco Police Department officer who specialized in intelligence, special operations, narcotics, homicide, and gang activities, among other specialized divisions. In fact, during production for Training Day, Lozada lent Denzel Washington and the production crew his own personal shoulder holsters, which to this day remain on display at the Warner Bro. Museum in Burbank, California.

Given Lozada’s past history working with Denzel Washington and Fuqua, he feels that his contribution to The Equalizer 3 is being downplayed, which is the primary focus of the lawsuit.

The Equalizer 3 will be the final installment of the Denzel Washington-led Equalizer trilogy

Though Fuqua denies Lozada’s claims, Lozada allegedly has evidence that makes a compelling case in his favor. One such instance involves Lozada’s suggestion that drugs in The Equalizer 3 should be smuggled inside hollowed-out wine bottles, which can be seen in the Denzel Washington film.

Lozada’s complaint points to a series of text messages, as well as several written briefings on what kind of weapons Denzel Washington’s character would realistically use in his setting and circumstances.

Lozada’s lawsuit, which alleges breach of oral contract, breach of implied-in-fact contract, common counts, and promissory fraud also lists Fuqua films, Inc., Escape Artist Productions, LLC, and Sony Pictures, Inc. as defendants. Added together, Lozada is seeking $250,000 in compensation for his contribution to The Equalizer 3, but this amount does not include court fees, prejudgment interest, and any other financial relief that the court may deem “just and proper.”

If Lozada’s evidence backs his claims as written, then it’s safe to say that he played a significant role in making sure Denzel Washington’s Robert McCall character was portrayed authentically, which is why he’s seeking compensation and credit.

The Equalizer 3 is slated for a September 1, 2023 premiere

As of this writing, Fuqua and Sony have not made any comments about the lawsuit, or Lozada’s involvement as a consultant for the Denzel Washington starring The Equalizer 3.

The Equalizer 3 is slated for a September 1, 2023 premiere. Given that Lozada’s complaint was just filed on August 28, this story will continue to develop in the coming months.