De-Aging Denzel Washington? Antoine Fuqua is Exploring The Idea of ‘The Equalizer’ Origin Story


The Equalizer 3” has garnered attention as the anticipated final installment in the Denzel Washington action series. However, director Antoine Fuqua has left the door slightly ajar for more tales centered around Robert McCall. In fact, Fuqua has been exploring the possibility of employing de-aging technology to extend the franchise through an origin story.

In an exclusive interview with NME, Fuqua shared his contemplation on this matter. He acknowledged the potential offered by new technological advancements, particularly in the realm of artificial intelligence. Fuqua questioned whether there exists an untold narrative about McCall’s transformation into the character we know—a younger iteration. He has been engaged in numerous discussions with Richard Wenk, the screenwriter behind “Equalizer.”

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The application of de-aging technology has gained prominence in recent years, fueled by instances such as Harrison Ford’s appearance in “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” and the digitally rejuvenated performances of Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Al Pacino in Martin Scorsese’s 2019 film “The Irishman.”

As Fuqua contemplates this bold route, he’s yet to bring Denzel Washington into the conversation. And he’s playing it smart, taking a watchful stance as the technology evolves. He points out the progress seen in other movies, including a project featuring Tom Hanks directed by Robert Zemeckis, as a testament to the strides in de-aging technology.

“I haven’t talked to Denzel about that yet,” Fuqua reveals. “It’s all so fresh and new. I’m still watching [the technology]. I’ve watched Harrison Ford’s film and I know there’s other movies coming out. I think Sony has one coming out with Tom Hanks soon [Robert Zemeckis’ Here]. And I’m hearing the technology is getting better and better and better. So I’m kind of watching it to see where it goes.”

The notion of using de-aging technology to resurrect Denzel Washington’s iconic character, Robert McCall, in his youthful glory isn’t without its complexities. Success here involves intricate and unpredictable implementation. While we’ve seen some solid results in de-aging actors, there’s a lurking danger of falling short of expectations. Denzel’s extensive filmography from his youth could be a valuable reference, but it’s not all about visual replication. The challenges extend deeper.

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Now, let’s shift our gaze away from digital sorcery and consider a more human angle. Enter John David Washington, a rising star who’s carving his name in the industry while carrying the impressive legacy of his parents, Denzel and Pauletta Washington. Picture this: John David stepping into his father’s shoes to portray a youthful Robert McCall. It’s a tantalizing notion, grounded in authenticity that surpasses acting skills – a genuine passing of the torch that could inject new vigor into the narrative. It’s a transition that’s both cinematic and a legacy’s evolution.

In the grand scheme of things, the destiny of “The Equalizer” series is hanging in the balance, much like the scales of justice McCall tips in his favor. As Antoine Fuqua mulls over these avenues, he’s echoing the same sentiment felt by devoted fans – a longing for innovation while staying true to the core essence of the story. Whether through technological marvels or heartfelt casting, be it a prequel or a plot twist, we’re eagerly anticipating the release of the third installment this Friday. Here’s hoping that any potential prequel lives up to the high standards set by the first three films.

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