It was only a little more than six years ago that we were discussing here at borg the first trailer for the first reboot of The Equalizer. What would become two major action blockbusters starred Denzel Washington as Robert McCall, a role originally cast in the 1980s by British actor Edward Woodward in a successful four-season television series. Denzel proved exactly what we believed: What made McCall’s character had nothing to do with the color of his skin. In fact Washington’s retired former special ops operative was one of the best badass action characters to hit the big screen in the past decade–Washington truly made the character his own. Next month the series gets its second reboot as Queen Latifah fills in the shoes as lead heroine, playing not Robert but Robyn McCall in the new network TV series The Equalizer. Check out the trailer for the series below.
The Oscar-nominated actress Queen Latifah is now 50 years old, and if you’ve seen all the episodes of the original series or the new movie series, you know that age is the key to what defines McCall. From the first trailer for The Equalizer, it’s clear Queen Latifah will bring that same kind of mix of fire, personality, and dynamite we saw Ving Rhames bring to Kojak or Samuel L. Jackson bring to Nick Fury. And everyone knows Hollywood needs more good roles for mature women.
Who is The Equalizer? The original series described its Robert McCall: “A retired intelligence agent turned private detective helps various threatened clients to equalize the odds.” The Denzel Washington movies said, “A former black ops commando who faked his death for a quiet life in Boston comes out of his retirement to rescue a young girl and finds himself face to face with Russian gangsters.” The new series description is “Robyn McCall, an enigmatic African American woman with a mysterious background, uses her extensive skills to help those with nowhere else to turn. McCall comes across to most as an average single mom who is quietly raising her teenage daughter. But to a trusted few, she is “The Equalizer” — an anonymous guardian angel and defender of the downtrodden, who’s also dogged in her pursuit of personal redemption.” So it looks like the writers will hold back the nature of the new McCall’s secret past for a bit.
We’ve seen plenty of good gender swaps: Starbuck and Boomer didn’t need to be played by males in the Battlestar Galactica reboot, and the far most memorable M was Judi Dench in the James Bond franchise, as examples. Not only is age more important than race for what makes The Equalizer (Woodward was 56, Washington 59), sex shouldn’t matter either. Remember: If someone has a problem, the odds are stacked against them, and they have nowhere else to turn, McCall will help. He is The Equalizer. This time just swap the pronoun, and all that anyone should care about is if the writing–the story–is good. Then we’ll come back for more.
Another bonus? The series features Law and Order and Doctor Who co-star Chris Noth as one of her contacts with her past spy world.
Check out the first trailer for The Equalizer starring Queen Latifah:
The Equalizer premieres on CBS after the Super Bowl–February 7, 2021.
C.J. Bunce / Editor / borg