The Equalizer director might de-age Denzel Washington for the franchise's origin story

The Equalizer director might de-age Denzel Washington for the franchise's origin story

Denzel Washington's former spy Robert McCall battled Russian gangsters in 2014's The Equalizer, defeated CIA agents-gone-bad in 2018's The Equalizer 2, and will take on the Italian Mafia in the franchise's upcoming installment, The Equalizer 3. But Equalizer director Antoine Fuqua has now revealed that he might use special AI technology so that the vigilante can conquer the greatest villain of all: time.

Fuqua explained that he has considered digitally de-aging Washington for an Equalizer origin story, similar to the way Harrison Ford was made to look younger in the opening of this year's Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.

"Especially now with the new technology and the AI and all of that kind of stuff… Is there a story to be told about how [McCall] became this person the younger version?" the filmmaker pondered in a new interview with NME. "I've had that conversation with Richard Wenk [Equalizer series screenwriter] quite a bit."


Stefano Montesi/Sony Denzel Washington in 'The Equalizer 3'

He admits that he hasn't talked to Denzel about it, though. "It's all so fresh and new," Fuqua said. "I'm still watching [the technology]. I've watched Harrison Ford's film and I know there's other movies coming out... And I'm hearing the technology is getting better and better and better. So I'm kind of watching it to see where it goes."

One of his actors who wouldn't require de-aging? Dakota Fanning. The Equalizer 3 reunites Washington with the actress who, as a child, appeared alongside the Flight star in 2004's Tony Scott–directed kidnap thriller, Man on Fire. In Fuqua's new threequel, Fanning portrays a CIA analyst named Emma.

"When I got the call from Todd Black, the producer, that Dakota was interested, I said, 'I need to meet her right now, today, this afternoon, because I love Dakota," Fuqua tells EW. "After I'd met with her, I loved her more. She's such a pro." The director waited until after he'd spoken with the actress to tell Washington that he was thinking of casting her in the film. "I called Denzel and I said, 'Dakota's interested,'" says Fuqua. "He goes, 'Grab her!' Because he has such love for her."

The Equalizer 3 hits theaters Sept. 1.

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