Denzel Washington hopes to have the odds in his favor this fall as The Equalizer, a big-screen remake of the series that aired on CBS from 1985 to 1989 with the late Edward Woodward as ex-spy Robert McCall, whose extensive skills from his years with the CIA has made him the one man to go to where there was no one else to help you.
The film reunites Washington with his Training Day director Antoine Fuqua (Washington won a Best Actor Oscar for his role as a corrupt LAPD cop), with his character living a quiet life after faking his death, but gets pulled into action when he comes to the aid of a young hooker (Chloe Grace Moretz) -- earning the wrath of the Russian mob.
"The title doesn't mean anything to me. It's the material" Washington told USA Today on Wednesday. "It's a classic story, the innocent girl and the guy coming in to save the day and kick some butt. You'll get some popcorn and escape for a couple of hours."
You could say that The Equalizer is a 21st-century Western, which is what the original series was: a modern-day Have Gun Will Travel (1957-63, CBS) set in urban New York instead of 19th-century San Francisco, where Richard Boone's knight-errant gunfighter Paladin was reincarnated as Robert McCall, who wires his services via his calling card on a newspaper ad as a private investigator and troubleshooter/problem-solver who champions the underdog and hopeless as penance for his sins.
The Equalizer is the third 1980s television series being adapted onto the big screen. The first was 2005's Dukes of Hazzard with Johnny Knoxville, Seann William Scott, Jessica Simpson, and Willie Nelson as cousins Bo, Luke, and Daisy and their Uncle Jesse. The second was 2010's The A-Team with Liam Neeson as Hannibal and Bradley Cooper as Face. These summer action-comedies received mixed reviews from critics and original cast members of both shows.
Let's see if The Equalizer could balance the scales, as the film is set to come out on September 26.