Opening in theaters on September 1st is the third chapter of ‘The Equalizer’ movie franchise entitled ‘The Equalizer 3,’ which was loosely based on the 1980’s TV series of the same name and is once again directed by Antoine Fuqua (‘Training Day,’ ‘Olympus Has Fallen’).
What is the plot of ‘The Equalizer 3’?
Robert McCall (Denzel Washington) moves to Southern Italy to escape from his past, but later discovers that his new friends are under the control of the Sicilian Mafia. With the help of a young CIA agent (Dakota Fanning), Robert unleashes his past self to protect his new friends.
Who is in the cast of ‘The Equalizer 3’?
Moviefone recently had the pleasure of speaking with director Antoine Fuqua about his work on ‘The Equalizer 3,’ what audiences should expect from the new movie, why this chapter takes place in Italy, reuniting Dakota Fanning and Denzel Washington, how his relationship with Denzel has grown over the years, and why audiences love Washington as Robert McCall.
Moviefone: To begin with, what would you say to fans of this franchise sitting down right now to watch the third installment to prepare them for the theatrical experience they are about to have?
Antoine Fuqua: Be prepared for McCall’s final masterpiece of not only just violence, but finding a home for himself in a spectacular setting.
MF: Why did you decide to take Robert McCall’s story to Italy for this movie?
AF: Myself, the writer and the producers have always wanted to take Robert McCall international. In my mind, in his other life, he probably lived in many different places in the world. So Italy just felt natural, because Denzel goes there quite a bit and as well as myself. I wanted a place that he felt at home and comfortable and knew the language. So, the Amalfi Coast, of course, not only is it ideal, it’s just beautiful. This place, Atrani, where we filmed, is so old world, you feel like you’ve been transported back in time, and that was important to us.
Related Article: ‘Equalizer’ Director Antoine Fuqua Could De-Age Denzel Washington for a Prequel About Robert McCall
MF: Obviously, you worked with Denzel Washington previously on ‘Training Day,’ but how has your friendship and your working relationship grown and changed through the course of making these three ‘Equalizer’ movies?
AF: I mean, the friendship remains the same. We’ve been friends. Our family, we know each other that way. Business wise and director-actor, it’s always been a mutual respect. Denzel has total trust in me, and of course, I have total trust in Mr. Washington. He’s never come over to look at the monitor or come to the editing bay or anything like that. He completely trusts what I do and I trust what he does, and that’s been our relationship. He knows I’m going to come to work to handle business, and I know he is. You know he’s coming, so I better be ready.
MF: Can you talk about reuniting Dakota Fanning with Denzel Washington so many years after ‘Man on Fire,’ and the incredible onscreen chemistry they still have together in ‘The Equalizer 3’?
AF: It’s incredible. I mean, what an opportunity. It just doesn’t happen that often where you see a young actor or actress grow up in front of you, and see an icon like Mr. Washington in a role together. Then have the opportunity to do it again later in life in something like this. So when I got the call from Todd Black that Dakota was interested, I said, “I got to meet her right now for lunch, today.” So we met. I fell in love with her, of course. I didn’t tell Denzel I was meeting with her. I wanted to make sure she really wanted to do it. Then I called Denzel, I said, “I met with Dakota. She wants to do it.” He was like, “Absolutely.” He loved Dakota. He lit up. So I was like, “Amazing.” So every day when I was filming them, he would turn to me sometimes and smile and go like, “She’s a grownup now.” He would just laugh about it. So it was like a father-daughter relationship. Really sweet.
MF: Finally, what do you think it is about this franchise, and particularly Denzel Washington’s performance as Robert McCall that resonates so much with audiences?
AF: I think the audience resonated with him, because he’s a common man. There’s nothing fancy about him, and he’s all about helping others without recognition. He doesn’t do it for money or anything. It’s sort of a throwback to (Akira) Kurasawa, which is one of my heroes. Like the ‘Seven Samurai,’ you’re going to go help a village for a bowl of rice. Getting back to that was an important message to put out into the world. Denzel, just being a great actor and being the great person who he is, there’s no Robert McCall without Denzel Washington. So he brings all of himself to that character, and that’s why it works.
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‘The Equalizer 3’ is produced by Escape Artists, Columbia Pictures, Fuqua Films, and Eagle Pictures, and is scheduled for release on September 1st.