Denzel Washington may be passing down the mantle of The Equalizer to Queen Latifah, as Deadline has learned that the former hip hop artist will be starring in a reboot of the franchise that will be airing on CBS. The move to TV is a return to home for the franchise, since this would actually be the second time The Equalizer would be airing on the small screen. Its original incarnation, which went by the same name, ran in the 1980s and starred Edward Woodward as The Equalizer. Much like Washington’s version of the character, Woodward’s version was a retired intelligence operative who, to make amends for past sins committed in his previous line of work, attempts to help innocent people who find themselves in precarious situations.
The series ran for four seasons before, decades later, being rebooted into a film starring Denzel Washington as the former agent turned vigilante directed by Antoine Fuqua, a film that was successful enough to produce a sequel in 2018 in The Equalizer 2. The franchise will be given new life once again by Andrew Marlowe and Terri Miller, who will both serve as showrunners for the new series. Richard Lindlehm, co creator of the original Equalizer, will also be executive producing the show, as well as Queen Latifah herself. Andrew Marlowe is best known for creating and developing Castle, starring Nathan Fillion, a show that ran eight seasons before its abrupt cancellation. This will also be Marlowe’s second time working with Miller on a series, as the two created Take Two together, which was canceled after one season on ABC.
The duo’s new project has already distinguished itself from the previous Equalizer films by placing Queen Latifah in the lead role, an even greater departure from the original Equalizer than the transition from Woodward to Washington. Like Washington’s version, Deadline reports that this will be a different take on Woodward’s character, but the spirit of The Equalizer will remain the same at its core, in that Queen Latifah’s Equalizer will be helping those in need with her unique and particular set of skills.