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The Equalizer 3 Almost Had A Different Ending

Contains spoilers for "The Equalizer 3"

Once again, Robert McCall (Denzel Washington) stands up for the little guy in another installment of "The Equalizer" franchise. This time around, he finds himself in Southern Italy to start a new life, and he comes across a small village where he quickly makes friends with the townspeople. But everything isn't as idyllic as it seems because the mafia wants to burn it all down for profit. As usual, Robert has a special set of skills to ensure the people remain safe. 

Seeing how "The Equalizer 4" doesn't appear likely, the series may remain a trilogy. And with that in mind, it wouldn't have been out of the question for Robert to meet his demise at the film's end. Fortunately, he lives, and the final scene depicts the small town celebrating a soccer match win, with Robert joining in. He smiles, a rare occurrence for him. If "The Equalizer 3" is the end of the line for the film franchise, Robert is at least left in a peaceful place. 

Looper attended a Q&A hosted by Collider where director Antoine Fuqua explained how that scene originally wasn't meant to end the movie. He didn't say what the original ending was, but when discussing how much of his projects change in the editing room, he elaborated, "I thought this is about a celebration of the people and a place. And that soccer game was earlier, and I called my editor Conrad Buff, and I said, 'What if we put that at the end?' So [Robert's] there with the people." After so much violence and bloodshed, audiences will likely appreciate a pleasant reprieve for the finale.

It's a rare moment of seeing Robert McCall at peace

Denzel Washington is likely done with Robert McCall for the time being. Audiences have seen him beat down numerous bad guys while doing what's right by his neighbors and friends. As such, it only seems fitting that the final scene is him finding a place where he can live in relative peace, especially now that the mafia isn't around to bother him. Antoine Fuqua joked about how it's pretty rare to see Washington crack a smile, and that moment of him being free was the best way to say goodbye. Fuqua concluded, "That's a proper way to say goodbye to Robert McCall in a positive way."

2023 also saw audiences say goodbye to another action hero — John Wick (Keanu Reeves). Only instead of him being happy and dancing somewhere, John Wick was seemingly buried six feet under. He may still be alive, but with "The Equalizer 3" capping off this series, it's nice to see a different violent man enjoy some serenity for once. But even though Robert's happy, Fuqua was still saddened to say goodbye to the character. In an exclusive interview with Looper, the director explained, "I'm definitely going to miss the world of 'Equalizer.' It's like a breakup. When they took the movie — they yanked the movie out of my hand last week — I felt sad."

It's only natural to feel sad leaving behind a character who's impacted many people's lives. Robert McCall exemplifies trying to lead a peaceful life but knowing when to fight for justice when a situation calls for it. He's definitely earned a long retirement. 

"The Equalizer 3" is playing in theaters now.