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De-Aging Denzel Washington? Antoine Fuqua Considering ‘Equalizer’ Origin Story

“The Equalizer 3” has been touted as the final film in the Denzel Washington action series, but director Antoine Fuqua isn’t closing the door on more Robert McCall. In fact, Fuqua has even considered de-aging his leading man for a continuation of the franchise in the form of an origin story.

“I definitely thought about it a lot,” Fuqua told NME in a new interview. “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. I’ve had that conversation with [‘Equalizer’ screenwriter] Richard Wenk quite a bit.”

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De-aging actors has become a popular filmmaking tool in recent years, bolstered by Harrison Ford’s summer blockbuster “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” and Martin Scorsese’s 2019 mob epic “The Irishman,” which infused some computer-generated youth into Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino.

“I haven’t talked to Denzel about that yet,” Fuqua said of the de-aging idea. “It’s all so fresh and new. I’m still watching [the technology]. I’ve watched Harrison Ford’s film and I know there’s other movies coming out. I think Sony has one coming out with Tom Hanks soon [Robert Zemeckis’ ‘Here’]. 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.”

“The Equalizer 3” sees Washington return as former U.S. Marine and DIA officer Robert McCall as he once again struggles to escape from his past. The “Equalizer” film trilogy is loosely based on the 1980s crime television series of the same name.

Teasing the third movie, Fuqua said, “The first film was about [McCall] finding a purpose. And it’s very external, right? He’s helping people. The second one is more about making peace with his past. He’s betrayed by his friends and [his colleague] dies and his wife has passed away… And then this one is more of a moral dilemma because he’s a darker character… He’s struggling with the violence and brutality.”

“The Equalizer 3” premieres in theaters on Sept. 1.

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