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The Equalizer 3 Release Date, Cast And Plot - What We Know So Far

In 2014, audiences were treated to "The Equalizer," a violent action film that was loosely based on a 1980s television show. Denzel Washington stars as Robert McCall, a former Marine and Defense Intelligence Agent who uses his physical and intellectual strength to help those with no one to turn to. His under-the-table dealings often lead to violent encounters across his home base of Massachusetts, and occasionally overseas.

The film, directed by Antione Fuqua, was successful enough to pave the way for a 2018 sequel "The Equalizer 2." While that film very nearly matched the box office and critical reception of the first (via Rotten Tomatoes) and had an open ending that would allow for further adventures, news remained dead silent about subsequent sequels since its release. However, fans are now beginning to have their faith rewarded, as some exciting details have broken "The Equalizer 3," which is, in fact, happening.

When will Equalizer 3 come out?

"The Equalizer 3" has been given an official release date of Friday, September 1, 2023, by Sony (via Variety). This puts it back in the company of the first film, which debuted on September 26, 2014, in the United States, whereas "The Equalizer 2" was released on July 20, 2018, though its summer premiere date didn't help it become more financially successful than its predecessor (via BoxOfficeMojo).

This date does however set the film up to be a Labor Day weekend favorite among adult audiences, assuming it receives an R rating from the MPAA, as did the first two films (via FilmRatings). Labor Day 2023 falls on Monday, September 4. With the release date being only a little more than a year away, shooting will likely begin as soon as fall 2022. 

Denzel Washington's most recent project was "The Tragedy of Macbeth" directed by Joel Coen and co-starring Frances McDormand. Washington was nominated for the best actor Oscar, one of three nominations the Apple TV+ film received (via IMDb).

Who will be in Equalizer 3?

Denzel Washington will reprise his role as Robert McCall for "The Equalizer 3." However, virtually none of the supporting cast carried over from the first film to the second, so it's not a far stretch to imagine a similar fate for the cast of "The Equalizer 2."

The only supporting cast member thus far to appear in both films is Melissa Leo's Susan Plummer, though she's brutally killed in the second film, which spurs McCall on the violent adventure in the first place. Needless to say, we shouldn't expect to see her in the third film, barring some sort of flashback scene. 

No official announcements have been made in regards to cast yet, but if the film were to act as something like a trilogy-capper, we could very well see the return of Chloë Grace-Moretz's Teri and Ashton Sanders's Miles, as both of those characters do manage to survive their films and end on good terms with McCall. Such appearances could recall instances where McCall's violent brand of justice helped others.

What will Equalizer 3 be about?

Antoine Fuqua has not been officially confirmed to direct, but his involvement is expected. He helmed the first two "The Equalizer" films, in addition to directing Denzel Washington to an Oscar with 2001's "Training Day," for which Washington took home the best actor statuette. Fuqua's next project is the Will Smith-fronted "Emancipation" for Apple TV+ (via Deadline), though a release date for that is still unclear.

In a 2018 interview with Collider promoting "The Equalizer 2," Fuqua mentioned that were there to be a third film, he would be interested in taking McCall abroad, particularly to Europe. At the conclusion of "The Equalizer 2," audiences saw McCall returning to live in his seaside home, somewhere in Massachusetts. It's a home he shared with his now-deceased wife. Best guesses point to the third film starting in this locale before sending him across the ocean. 

While doing press interviews for "The Tragedy of Macbeth" in early 2022, Washington confirmed to Collider that a script has been written for the third film. While the screenwriter was not confirmed, it could be Richard Wenk, who penned the first two films among other action blockbusters such as "The Expendables 2," "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back," and "The Protégé" (via IMDb).