One type of movie that will seemingly never get old is the kind in which a retired ex-operative with a certain number of “skills” is called back into action to either save someone or take a bunch of revenge. We get multiple of these films per year and some actors have even turned the concept into their own franchises (thanks Liam Neeson!). Denzel Washington has one of these going now and there’s a third installment on the way in the coming years. Let’s take a look at everything we know about The Equalizer 3.
Why Is Denzel Washington The Equalizer?
This series is loosely based on the 1980s show of the same name and stars Denzel Washington as Robert McCall. Though getting up there in age, we learn quickly that McCall is retired after a career spent in the military and government as a special operative. Sure, he wants to keep things quiet now, taking those kinds of easy retirement jobs that keep you busy (hardware store, Lyft driver) but as it often happens, the dude gets sucked into conspiracy and mayhem without much friction. That gives him a chance to unleash the bevy of killing skills he’s honed over years in his past life.
Presumably, The Equalizer 3 will have Denzel Washington following a similar path as the first two films. The name of the movie is meant to imply what McCall often sets out to do in that he balances the scales for folks who don’t have the means to do it themselves. It’s a fun enough concept for a movie, not dissimilar to other stories we’ve seen in the genre before.
What Has Denzel Washington Equalized Already?
With The Equalizer 3 on the way, we know that there have been two movies already in this franchise. Both were insular stories in that they didn’t overlap each other all that much. In the first movie, Denzel Washington helps protect a teenage prostitute (Chloe Moretz) from the Russian mafia. A time-honored group to fight against in action movies, McCall must work his way through the organization to the top in order to, well, equalize the group for the treatment of Moretz’s character.
In The Equalizer 2, we got a slightly different scenario with the same, somewhat predictable, results. In this one Denzel Washington as McCall is just minding his business as a Lyft driver in Boston, helping the odd neighbor in need, until his former partner in covert operations is killed. Now it’s time to uncover which government ne’er-do-well saw fit to ice an “innocent” agent and McCall gets to work. He leaves behind a body count that would make his revenge movie brethren proud. Both movies worked for what they set out to do and The Equalizer 3 would likely do the same.
Who Else Is Involved In The Equalizer 3?
The first two movies in the series didn’t have a whole lot of overlap in the cast with really just Denzel Washington returning. The only other holdovers in the first two were Melissa Leo and Bill Pullman as Susan and Brian Plummer. But Leo’s character died in the second film, setting the stage for that flick’s plot so she won’t be coming back. And it’s hard to imagine Pullman works his way back in here either because of how that second move played out. In this way, much like the first two movies, we are probably looking at an all-new cast.
One mainstay of The Equalizer franchise through the first two movies, other than Denzel Washington, has been director Antoine Fuqua. He helmed both flicks and is going to be back for The Equalizer 3. This much was announced back in January. Fuqua had talked in the past about the possibility of a third installment, saying he was eager to bring another one to the big screen and Sony confirmed that would be the case. The other throughline for the first two movies was that Richard Wenk had penned this script for each. It hasn’t been confirmed whether he’s in line for The Equalizer 3 though it would make a lot of sense considering the consistency they brought with the first two movies.
How Have The Other Denzel Washinton The Equalizer Movies Performed?
From a box office perspective, the first two movies in the Denzel Washington franchise have been solid in returning a profit. The Equalizer earned $192 million on its roughly $70 million budget when it came out in 2014. And The Equalizer 2 was nearly identical in 2018 when it took in $190 million on about a $72 million budget. From a studio perspective that’s an acceptable return on the budgetary side.
And on the critical front, the first two flicks finished right around where you would expect considering the plot mechanics and genre. The Equalizer scored 60% on Rotten Tomatoes\ with the sequel hitting 52%. The audience scores were marginally higher
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When Will We See Denzel Washington in The Equalizer 3?
Though we don’t know much in the way of story or other casting decisions, it does appear that Sony has at least a date in mind for the release of The Equalizer 3. As it stands right now, the plan is to have Denzel Washington hit the big screen on September 1, 2023 (via ScreenRant). So as of this writing, we are nearly a year and a half away from getting eyes on this thing. That gives a pretty long runway to figure out how all of this sets up and what’s in store for the film.
Interesting enough, there is a chance this movie in the next one for Denzel Washington. Following his Oscar-nominated turn in The Tragedy of Macbeth, the actor doesn’t have anything else confirmed on the docket. He had spoken in the past about the possibility of retirement mentioning that he had accomplished most of what he wanted to on the screen. He even went so far as to say it would need to be an “extreme challenge” for him to get interested in returning to acting after The Tragedy of Macbeth (he joked about it being Lear). But it would appear The Equalizer 3, at least for now, checks that box for the actor.