EXCLUSIVE: The Denzel Washington-led reboot continues to pad its cast. Vladimir Kulich has joined Sony‘s The Equalizer, which also stars Martin Csokas, Melissa Leo and Chloe Moretz. The Vikings actor will play a Russian oligarch who funds an international black market enterprise. Washington stars as Robert McCall, a former covert agent who hires himself out to those in need. The $50 million thriller is based on the of the 1985-89 CBS series starring Edward Woodward. In addition to recurring as the warrior Erik on History’s Vikings, Kulich’s credits include Ironclad, The 13th Warrior and TV’s Angel. He is repped by Kazarian, Spencer, Ruskin & Associates and Open Entertainment.
EXCLUSIVE: Haley Bennett is continuing with her busy schedule, signing on for a role in Sony‘s redo of The Equalizer. Denzel Washington stars alongside Chloe Moretz and Melissa Leo, and Antoine Fuqua is directing. Bennett, whose earlier credits include The Haunting Of Molly Hartley and Marley & Me, has completed a string of movies in the past year including the untitled Terence Malick film opposite Christian Bale; the psychological thriller Kristy for the Weinstein Company; and Things People Do co-starring Wes Bentley.
EXCLUSIVE: Melissa Leo is negotiating to join Denzel Washington in the Antoine Fuqua-directed The Equalizer for Sony Pictures. The film, based on the ’80s CBS TV series, is being produced by Escape Artists’ Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch. Leo, who won an Oscar for The Fighter, reunites with Fuqua, who directed her in Olympus Has Fallen. Washington plays McCall, a retired covert operative who, seeking redemption for his dark deeds, quits a CIA-like agency and puts an ad in the paper that reads simply: “Got a problem? Odds against you? Call the Equalizer.” Leo will play McCall’s former handler when he worked counter-terrorism. She provides him with intelligence about who he is facing when he runs up against a new adversary. The film begins production mid-June in Boston.
‘Equalizer’ Update: Chloe Moretz Getting Lead in Film And Creator Michael Sloan To Write New Novels Based On Iconic Character
EXCLUSIVE: A couple of intriguing developments have happened on The Equalizer. After a strong reading with Denzel Washington, Chloe Moretz is getting the offer from Sony Pictures to play the female lead in the drama that will re-team Training Day tandem Washington and Antoine Fuqua. At the same time, Michael Sloan, creator of the 1980s TV series, has made a deal to write an original novel for Thomas Dunne Books that will continue the adventures of Robert McCall, the shadowy character originated by Edward Woodward who’ll be played on the big screen by Washington.
Moretz is a surprise choice to play the role of Teri, in that the role was originally drawn for a twentysomething. After Moretz did a chemistry reading with Washington, he was very impressed as was everybody else, and the role will be redrawn for Moretz to play a young prostitute, reminiscent of Jodie Foster in Taxi Driver. Deal has to be made, but between this and the upcoming Kimberly Peirce-directed Carrie, that little girl from Kick-Ass is turning into a young woman who’s taking on some of the edgiest roles in town.
EXCLUSIVE: On the eve of the opening of his latest film Olympus Has Fallen, director Antoine Fuqua is in early talks to re-team with his Training Day star Denzel Washington on The Equalizer for Sony Pictures and Escape Artists. That is the film that has had a lot of helmers chasing after the script by Richard Wenk prompted the studio to expedite Washington’s deal and set a late spring start date, likely in Boston. The film is a smartly budgeted thriller based on the TV series that will come in around $50 million and is designed to launch the first franchise for Washington, who’s coming off an Oscar-nominated turn in Flight.
Fuqua directed Washington to an Academy Award for Best Actor in Training Day for his portrayal of a crooked cop who creates havoc for a recruit (Ethan Hawke) he’s supposed to be training to join an elite undercover force. It was a full out badass performance, and Fuqua and Washington have been looking to work together ever since. This certainly seems like a strong fit for the helmer whose recent films have included Brooklyn’s Finest and Shooter.
EXCLUSIVE: Rise of the Planet Of the Apes helmer Rupert Wyatt broke off talks to direct The Equalizer at Sony with Denzel Washington. He had another obligation and skeds ultimately didn’t mesh, I’m told. Sony and Escape Artists will lock in a helmer shortly.
BREAKING: Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn has been selected to direct The Equalizer for Sony Pictures and Escape Artists. The film, loosely based on the 1980s TV series, has been a hot ticket for directors since Denzel Washington agreed to play the title role. A number of directors had been considered along the way. Negotiations toward a deal will begin immediately with Refn.