Sony Pictures has moved its feature film adaptation of the TV series, The Equalizer, starring Denzel Washington, from its previously-announced April 11, 2014 release date, to September 26, 2014 – a full 5 1/2 months.

No particular reason(s) given, other than, as I learned, it might have faced more competition on April 11 with both family-friendly Rio 2 and Stretch Armstrong also opening that weekend. Its new September 26 release date will see a sci-fi thriller titled Selfless, as its main competition, with Washington’s Safe House co-star, Ryan Reynolds, starring, in a film directed by Tarsem.

Chloe Moretz, Marton Csokas and Melissa Leo, co-star with Washington in the film, which, by the way, is being directed by Washington’s Training Day helmer, Antoine Fuqua, from a script written by Richard Wenk

Director Nicolas Winding Refn had the job initially, but then walked away from it, after he and the studio couldn’t reach an agreement. 

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.

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).

No official synopsis for the film yet, but it’s expected to follow the basic premise of the TV series.

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.

Production is now underway, which means fans and press are out in force with their cameras, snapping shots of the star on set. A few of those pics are embedded within this post.