The Equalizer, which started its life as a TV series and then became a Denzel Washington movie series, is about to become a TV series again. And Queen Latifah is going to star. Like the original series (and the movies), the story focuses on a mysterious figure who uses their specific set of skills to help those who have no one left to turn to.
Deadline says Queen Latifah will executive produce and star in an Equalizer TV series reboot, with CBS giving the project a pilot production commitment. The series comes from creators Andrew Marlowe & Terri Miller, who will also serve as showrunners. Queen Latifah will play ” an enigmatic figure who uses her extensive skills to help those with nowhere else to turn.” A pilot production commitment means the network has committed to producing the pilot (as the name obviously implies), but that they can also back out at the last minute and pay a penalty. It’s not as ironclad as a full pilot order, in other words.
The Equalizer began its life as CBS TV series that launched in 1985 and ran until 1989. Edward Woodward played Robert McCall “a retired intelligence agent with a mysterious past, who uses the skills from his former career to exact justice on behalf of innocent people who are trapped in dangerous circumstances.” In 2014, the concept found new life as a movie, with Denzel Washington playing the new Robert McCall, who goes up against the Russian mafia. It was a big enough hit to spawn a sequel, The Equalizer 2, where Washington’s McCall seeks revenge for the death of a friend.
This new series will ignore the Washington films, which were a product of Sony, and instead serve as a reboot of the original series, from Universal Television. Universal has been trying to launch an Equalizer TV reboot for at least four years, but have been unsuccessful up until now.
While this idea might throw a few people off who think this is a TV adaptation of the movies, there’s probably enough wiggle room here to create something with its own personality. While the Denzel Washington movies did well at the box office they’re not exactly heralded as untouchable classics. Heck, I don’t even think the first movie is that good – although I’ll admit to enjoying the hyper-violent sequel, which is almost like a slasher movie with Denzel Washington in Jason Voorhees mode.