How Denzel Washington never wanted a franchise — and why 'The Equalizer 2' is his first sequel

Kevin Polowy
Senior Correspondent, Yahoo Entertainment

The Equalizer 2 is a major first for both Denzel Washington and director Antoine Fuqua, marking the first time over a combined 60-plus films (including four now together) that either has done a sequel. It’s just not something they were interested in.

“The only [character] I wanted to revisit was Alonzo, but we killed him off,” Fuqua said with a laugh during the film’s recent Los Angeles press day, referencing the sharp-tongued corrupt cop that Washington won an Oscar for portraying in their first collaboration, Training Day (2001).

Said Washington: “It’s got to lend itself to that to begin with. I haven’t taken a job where I went, ‘Oh, this could be five movies.’ I haven’t looked at it that way.”

Their new sequel comes four years after The Equalizer, a thriller about an ex-CIA agent now working in retail who goes full vigilante on the Russian mobsters tormenting a young woman (Chloë Grace Moretz) he befriends, became one of the bigger surprise hits of 2014. In the follow-up, Robert McCall (now a Lyft driver) is pulled back into action when his old friend/former boss (Melissa Leo) is put into peril in an overseas investigation.

Washington said the only time he’d previously been approached about revisiting one of his past characters was when the idea was floated for doing a prequel to Safe House, his 2012 actioner opposite Ryan Reynolds. “I don’t know what happened to that,” he said.

Asked what it was about McCall, specifically, that had Washington itching to reprise a role for the first time onscreen, he had a simple response: “Nothing. Nothing had me itching for another go at it. They wrote a script and I read it and I liked it. But it wasn’t like I was sitting there going, ‘We gotta do another!’”

Now if only they had called it The Sequelizer.

The Equalizer 2 opens Friday. Watch the trailer:

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