Fuqua and Washington don’t go “superhero” in the movie. They shot believable action sequences, often performed by the 59-year-old Washington himself. And his director points out that the actor can truly bring it as he demonstrates each training day in the boxing gym. “He really hits those mitts,” says Fuqua. “And you imagine what he’ll do to you. You might underestimate him. That’s your first mistake.” Fuqua even was restrained in his use of guns in the film for fear that would detract from Washington’s physical performance. “His hand-to-hand work is pretty nasty when the monster comes out,” says Fuqua. “We used what was around him. You’d be surprised what he can do with a corkscrew. You’ll never open a bottle of wine the same way again.”

Director Antoine Fuqua in a USA Today profile of Sony Pictures’ adaptation of the TV series, The Equalizer, starring Denzel Washington, which will be released on September 26, 2014.

Included in that profile are several first-look photos from the upcoming movie, some of which are embedded within this post (below).

Chloe MoretzMarton Csokas and Melissa Leo, co-star with Washington in the film, directed by Washington’s Training Day helmer, Fuqua, from a script written by Richard Wenk

The reportedly $50 million project is said to be designed to launch the first film franchise for Mr Washington – hence, if the first film does well, expect sequels. One has already been reportedly greenlit, even though the first film hasn’t been released yet. It was said to have scored particularly well with test audience.

The TV series the film is based on was set in New York, and centered on a former secret agent (played by the late Edward Woodward) with a “mysterious past” who tries to atone for past sins by offering, free of charge, his services as an investigator, aided by a diverse group of other sometimes-mysterious contacts (some of whom date back to his spying days).

In the film adaptation, Washington plays Robert McCall, a retired intelligence operator who faked his own death to live under the radar. But after finding a young woman (played by Chloe Moretz) in trouble with the Russian mob, he returns to action to use his extreme tactics for good.

With Fuqua helming, this probably means we should expect a more hard-hitting, raw, gritty, R-rated kind of Equalizer, and not the PG/PG-13 series that was the TV show. This’ll probably be more like Denzel Washington in Man On Fire mode.

With September looming, no teaser/trailer for the upcoming film yet (although I suspect one will debut any day now); but we have your first look at a handful of official photos below: