Is Denzel Washington poised to reprise his role of mercenary Robert McCall in Antoine Fuqua’s Equalizer series? In an interview with Steve Weintraub published this week in Collider, the Oscar-winning actor was caught waxing absolutely macho about the prospect, saying with just a whiff of Trumpian bravado: “They have written the third Equalizer, so I’m scheduled to do that. So I gotta get in shape and start beating people up again. I get to beat people up again. The Tragedy of Macbeth and then going and beating some people up. Can’t get any better, right?”
Tough-guy parts seem to come naturally for Denzel, with testosterone-fueled performances in such films as American Gangster, The Hurricane, Safe House, and 2 Guns, to say nothing of his title role in Spike Lee’s Malcolm X and his earlier Broadway appearance as Brutus in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. He was acclaimed for his appearances in the first two Equalizer films, released in 2014 and 2018. More recently he murdered sleep while playing the title role in Joel Coen’s The Tragedy of Macbeth.
The industry is also abuzz with talk that Fuqua will direct Equalizer 3 after he finishes Emancipation, an Apple TV+ release starring Will Smith and based on the true story of a slave who escapes his torturers by joining the Union army during the Civil War.
The Equalizer films were inspired by a television series that aired for four years in the late 1980s, featuring the exploits of Robert McCall, a rogue marine and intelligence officer who jousts with the Russian mafia while trying to protect a teenaged prostitute (unshrinkingly described as a “teenage prostate” in Adam Holmes’s Cinemablend review). If Denzel Washington indeed gets to the promised gland in Equalizer 3, there’ll surely be enough milk and honey to go around, if not testosterone.