June 20, 2014

THE EQUALIZER Franchise On The Way And Director Antoine Fuqua Comments On Sequels

The R-rated American action film is becoming a dying breed, we've seen franchises like Fast And Furious flourish within the PG-13 rating, tempting studios to water-down the genre. Which has led to The Expendables 3 wimping-out and scaling back the shoot-em-up gore to get a bigger box office. One voice in the genre has taken the attitude Hard-R is the way to go with these adult-action films. That is surprisingly Antoine Fuqua, who is better known for his crime thrillers such as Training Day and blew us away with his balls-to-the-wall action flick Olympus Has Fallen.

His next feature will see him re-teaming with his Oscar winner lead from Training Day, Denzel Washington. The film based on the widely popular series The Equalizer, sees Washington as a total badass only interested in levelling the playing field. The studio doesn't have a bunch of original action franchises lying around to fill release spots. They also have to try to develop whatever existing properties they have to their fullest potential, so it makes sense that they would want this to be very successful and make more installments.

Back in February, TheWrap reported that Sony is indeed moving forward with a sequel. They had rehired screenwriter Richard Wenk (Expendables 2, The Mechanic) to pen the script. Wenk wrote the first installment and has apparently closed a deal to write it's second installment with the working title The Equalizer 2. They add that test-screenings have earned the highest scores for an R-rated film for the studio. This basically should give the impression Sony could have a massive hit on their hands, and will actually be worth franchising.

Director Antoine Fuqua actually took on that question head-on with ScreenRant, and gave a hopeful but coy response to the talk the studio wants more installments.

Ah, you know, I would be lying to you if I said I wouldn’t love for it to become a franchise, I would love for it to become a hit and all that great stuff. Who knows-you just make the best movie you can make, you know it’s like, eat the whole thing, one piece at a time. And then, we’ll see what happens, I would love for it to be.

I'm a massive fan of both the work of Washington and director Antoine Fuqua, so I'm totally on board for this. The only thing is that Fuqua has setup franchises before and left, case-in-point he didn't return to direct London Has Fallen the sequel to Olympus Has Fallen. I believe the deciding factor will be what the studio will offer Fuqua via future projects, and if Denzel is willing to stick around. The trailer is extremely promising, and it's hard to not to want to see that Training Day magic return.


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