The Big Picture
- The Equalizer 3 will see Denzel Washington return as Robert McCall, the vigilante who protects the vulnerable through violent means.
- The film features intense action scenes where McCall uses his skills to predict and combat his enemies’ moves, making the fight scenes challenging to construct.
- Ahead of The Equalizer 3, director Antoine Fuqua reveals that the most difficult scene to film was actually in the trilogy’s second movie.
The Equalizer 3 sees Denzel Washington reprise the role of Robert McCall, the titular equalizer who seeks to protect the vulnerable from those who inspire fear via intimidation and violence. And as McCall knows, the best way to combat violence is with more violence. The film sees Washington’s retired intelligence operative, who has become something of a vigilante in his later years, heading to Italy to retire, only to be confronted with the threat of the Mafia. The films have become known for their punishing violence, which is part of some complex action set-pieces as McCall uses his skills to predict the enemy’s next move, even being able to, in a sense, “slow down time” as he senses the oncoming threat, which makes the construction of the fight scenes a tricky prospect, and it was the conclusion of the second film in the series that caused the director the most consternation.
Equalizer 2‘s finale featured Washington’s McCall heading to a Massachusetts seaside town in the vein of Hyannis or Provincetown, amidst a hurricane, as he sought to eliminate Pedro Pascal‘s Dave York, a corrupt government official who had murdered McCall’s colleague, Susan (Melissa Leo) in an attempt to cover up a conspiracy.
A Pain for Pedro Pascal
The set-piece in question, which featured high-speed winds as York attempted to snipe McCall from atop a water tower, while McCall eliminated York’s goons, was a logistical nightmare, as Fuqua explained while in conversation with Collider’s Steve Weintraub. The director said:
“In the second one, the storm and all that [was] just a pain in the ass. The wind and you have no control over anything. It’s just a pain in the ass, you know? [Laughs] It’s just like, ‘Who wrote this?’ I’m kidding, but that was a tough one. That was a tough one.”
The Equalizer films have also become known for their commitment to showing unrelenting violence on-screen, as McCall takes no prisoners and leaves nothing to chance in his quest for justice. As Fuqua explains, the confrontation he has with the Italian mafia in the final installment of the trilogy will complete McCall’s “masterpiece” of violence as he rights the wrongs suffered by those closest and dearest to him, as part of his new life.
“Well, it’s his final masterpiece to take out some bad guys that deserved it,” Fuqua explained. “It’s set up in the movie when you first meet Vincent [Andrea Scarduzio], the brother, that they’re the worst of the worst the way they treat people, kick them out of their homes, and these sorts of things. So they had to go in the worst way. They had to know what it felt like to be terrorized.”
The film also stars Dakota Fanning (reuniting her with Washington, her Man on Fire co-star), Eugenio Mastrandrea (From Scratch), David Denman (Brightburn), and Sonia Ben Ammar (Scream). The Equalizer 3 will be released in cinemas on September 1, 2023. Don’t miss our full conversation with Fuqua below.