A sequel for Antoine Fuqua’s The Equalizer (set to release on September 26th) is already in preparation. The Equalizer stars Denzel Washington, a man who seemingly has no equal as a protagonist in action packed films.
The Equalizer and a potential sequel could further promote Washington’s archetype, defined previously in Training Day, American Gangster, Unstoppable, Safe House, and (more recently) 2 Guns. Similarly, director Antoine Fuqua (set to direct a sequel) has directed his fair share of thrillers. In the very least, Training Day, Shooter, and Olympus Has Fallen would not be mistaken for romantic comedies.
Although Washington has not signed on for a sequel, the high volume of positive feedback during pre-screenings for The Equalizer has invigorated Sony to get a writer on board. Richard Wenk (known for The Expendables 2, The Mechanic, 16 Blocks, and The Equalizer) has agreed to write a sequel.
This push for a franchise may stem from Sony’s recent production of movies that have lagged behind previous year’s revenue. With the exception of the Spider-Man franchise, the studio suffered financially during 2013. According to Vanity Fair, $181 million was lost for the fiscal second quarter on October 31, 2013. These severe box office losses came from the distributions of After Earth and White House Down. The goal is for a sequel to build upon the anticipated success of The Equalizer and put a couple projects firmly in the win column.
The Equalizer, based on the 1985 television series of the same title, starring Edward Woodward as Robert McCall, is focused on a private detective who uses his past experience as an intelligence agent to aid crime victims. The film adaptation will feature Washington as McCall, tackling Russian gangsters, after trying to help Teri, a young prostitute played by Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass).
Franchises seem to be taking over Hollywood these days. The list has been increasing with the recent productions of The Conjuring 2, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avatar 2, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Only a worthy script, an agreement from Washington, and time will tell if The Equalizer 2 has the stamina for success.