Filmmaker Antoine Fuqua can boast one thing no other director can: he is the only person to direct Denzel Washington in not one but two sequel films.
Washington and Fuqua have worked on many films together, but The Equalizer 3 stands out because it marks only the third time the 68-year-old legendary actor will reprise a role for a sequel film.
The final chapter in the action film trilogy that follows Washington’s Robert McCall, who uses the skills he’s learned as a former Gunnery Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) intelligence officer to help those in need who can’t help themselves while righting wrongs done against those innocent people.
In The Equalizer 3, McCall will once again need those skills to take on a bunch of Italian thugs threatening a small town that he is taking a liking to, and in the process, he uncovers a much bigger conspiracy.
The Equalizer 3 also reunites Washington with Fuqua and sees him link up with Dakota Fanning again, who starred opposite him in 2004’s Man on Fire. Fanning is 29 years old now, but she wasn’t even 10 when she hopped in front of a camera with Washington, and he has been impressed with her acting skills ever since.
Ahead of the film’s release, Cassius Life spoke exclusively with Antoine Fuqua about doing sequels with Washington, carrying that as a badge of honor, what makes Robert McCall so special as a character, having habits like Robert McCall, and which other character played by Washington he would love to bring back for a sequel.
What Makes Robert McCall Unique
There is a reason Fuqua and Washington enjoy bringing this particular character to the big screen, and it has a lot to do with him just being an ordinary guy with an excellent moral compass.
…what makes it special is that he’s a common man and that he’s doing it for the right reasons…
“Well, what makes it special is that he’s a common man and that he’s doing it for the right reasons and handling his business, taking care of these bad guys, and so I think that’s part of what we love about it. He’s like your uncle or guy next door, or some cat like that that can handle his business,” Fuqua tells Cassius Life.
Antoine Fuqua Says Working With Denzel Washington Is An Honor
Any director would boast if they were the only one to direct Denzel Washington in sequel films. But that’s not how Antoine Fuqua sees it; instead, he takes pride in working with him on many projects.
For me, a badge of honor, it absolutely is just working with Denzel.
“For me, a badge of honor, it absolutely is just working with Denzel, of course, man,” Fuqua says.
He continues, “But we always look at one movie at a time. We never thought about it as a franchise when we started, and so just getting one movie right at a time is the thing I find most important. That’s really the badge of honor for me, to be able to get one movie at a time done. If it becomes a franchise, that’s more of a blessing that goes beyond me.”
Fuqua Reveals His Ritual Before Directing A Film
In the film, Robert McCall is a man of many rituals and habits that keep him sharp and focused. In the movie, the Italian town he ends up in becomes special to him because each of the locals also has habits as well.
When asked if he has any habits or rituals he practices before filming, Fuqua revealed he does have patterns that he doesn’t even recognize sometimes that other people point out to him.
“That’s a really good question. Yeah. There’s a process, for sure, and sometimes I don’t even recognize the patterns. Other people recognize it more than I do. I just do what I do,” he revealed.
I see it as just doing the work, but some people see it as more of a ritual.
“It’s like somebody that plays ball. You go out, you take the powder, you do your thing. Everybody’s got a ritual, right? I think mine is really sort of, I try to visualize it as much before I get there, and I sit in the room, I get a vibe going, music, whatever it is, and I start putting together images and sketches. And it becomes more of a ritual. I see it as just doing the work, but some people see it as more of a ritual.”
This Is The One Denzel Washington Character Antoine Fuqua Would Love To Bring Back For A Sequel
So, outside of Robert McCall, what other character played by Washington would Fuqua like to direct in a sequel? No, it’s not Alonzo Harris. Sorry, Training Day fans.
“It definitely wouldn’t be Alonzo, man. He had to go,” Fuqua jokingly begins.
“It would probably be Mag [Magnificent] Seven. I would love to see Denzel take that character,” referring to Washington as Sam Chilsom in the 2016 remake of The Magnificent Steven directed by Fuqua. The older cats coming back to handle some business. It would be fun to see that, but that’s the one I would bring back.”
The Equalizer 3 arrives in theaters on Aug. 31.
Photo: Sony Pictures Entertainment / The Equalizer 3
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