This article contains major spoilers for The Equalizer 3.
The Big Picture
- The Equalizer 3 originally had a different ending, but director Antoine Fuqua changed it to highlight a celebration of the people and the place where Robert McCall finds his peace.
- The ending shows Robert in a rare moment of happiness, with Denzel Washington dancing and smiling, which is seen as a proper way to say goodbye to the character.
- The movie concludes on a positive note, with Robert joining in the celebration of the local team’s victory at a soccer match after protecting his newfound community.
The Equalizer trilogy kicked off in 2014, introducing viewers to a new version of Robert McCall, portrayed by Denzel Washington. This Labor Day weekend, Robert’s story reached its conclusion with The Equalizer 3. The movie follows Robert as he protects his newfound community and faces internal hurdles. After years of a brutal life, Robert (and the series) finally has a chance at a nice end — but that ending changed along the way. During Collider’s IMAX screening and Q&A of the movie, director Antoine Fuqua revealed that The Equalizer 3 wasn’t originally going to end the way it does.
The Equalizer 3 ends on a scene brimming with only joy. After the local mafia wreaks havoc on the town, Robert is quick to exact vengeance, wanting to protect his new friends and his first real chance at knowing peace in a long time. Of course, he eventually succeeds. Once the dust settles, viewers see Robert back at his usual spot at the café. Shortly after, a crowd of people runs through, celebrating the local team’s victory at a soccer match. The event is so rousing, in fact, that not even Robert can resist joining in the fun.
When talking to Collider Editor-in-Chief Steve Weintraub, Fuqua shared that the celebration was initially part of a scene that occurred earlier in the movie. Once The Equalizer 3 moved into the editing stages, Fuqua’s idea of what the ending should be morphed. The scene itself focuses on the people and shows how Robert has embraced them and vice versa:
“It kind of comes to me sometime in the middle of the night, I’m like, ‘But we had a whole different ending.’ And I thought, ‘This is about a celebration of the people, of the place.’ That soccer game was earlier, and I called my editor, Conrad Buff, and I said, ‘What if we put that at the end, so he’s there with the people?’”
Antoine Fuqua Wanted to End ‘The Equalizer 3’ on a Positive Note
Additionally, the ending not only shows Robert in a rare moment of happiness but also gives viewers a chance to see Denzel Washington in a similar mood. Fuqua thought that was ultimately the right way to send Robert off:
“It was one of those rare moments with Denzel, when Denzel is dancing and smiling, and anybody that knows Denzel, Steven, that’s not all the time, you know? So he was dancing and smiling, and I just thought, ‘That’s a proper way to say goodbye to Robert McCall in a positive way.'”
The Equalizer 3 is out now in theaters. Check out what else Fuqua had to say below.