In a cinema that has plenty of offerings when it comes to guys with guns, what gives Sony and Escape Artists’ Equalizer series with Denzel Washington that extra zhuzh?
Action sets, but with a character bent, unlike those in Fast & Furious.
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“We never set out to make an action movie, we always made a character movie where the character happens to be f**king good at action,” says Equalizer 3 producer and Escape Artists principal Jason Blumenthal on the latest Crew Call.
Sure, Washington’s Robert McCall could opt to flip a table against an Italian mobster in a restaurant, but there’s something more revealing about his gravitas and precision as he sticks his thumb into the nerve of a killer’s hand instead, while softly detailing what could be such villain’s end days. The action has to always feel like it’s part of the dialogue.
“There’s no such thing as a fair fight,” says director Antoine Fuqua on how he distinguishes action sequences with franchise scribe Richard Wenk, “Violence happens quickly and brutally if someone knows what they’re doing.”
“Use all the objects in the room” is another adage per Equalizer 3 producer and Escape Artists principal Todd Black.
Giving the threequel an international flavor is it’s Italian setting, the production using the Amalfi Coast to stand in for Sicily as McCall protects locals there from a vicious mob. It was always part of Wenk’s evolution for Equalizer to head outside the U.S. Further setting Equalizer 3 apart as an action movie is that it’s largely in Italian with English subtitles.
The series still stands as Washington’s lone franchise; the actor’s commitment to it being what makes McCall tick first and foremost as a person.
Equalizer 3 is on track to potentially post the second best 4-day opening over the Labor Day frame after Shang Chi‘s $94.6M with a $30M-$40M opening.
As such, don’t be surprised if there’s a fourth Equalizer. To date the franchise has grossed $382.7M.
Our conversation is below:
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