Denzel Washington’s Equalizer 3 Hit With Drug Raid In Italy

Production on The Equalizer 3 has finally begun, as Sony Pictures revealed in October that lead actor Denzel Washington, his co-star Dakota Fanning and director Antoine Fuqua are working on the film in Italy. The movie has been in production for a few weeks now and, off the set, there was an incident. According to a new report, there was a drug raid connected to members of the film's catering crew, and it would seem that the authorities confiscated more than 100 grams of cocaine during the operation.

Said raid took place on Tuesday, according to Variety. Italian paramilitary police apparently searched for drugs in the Maiori-based resort where the Equalizer 3 crew was staying. The trade reports that the authorities ultimately seized 120 grams of cocaine, which led to the arrest of two catering service employees. Two other caterers were also hit with alleged drug dealing charges and placed under house arrest in the resort. It’s said that another member of the catering staff was found with a small possession and as a result, had his driver’s license taken away. 

The drug bust was apparently initiated after the head of the production’s catering service suffered a fatal heart attack on Monday. The news outlet reports that small packs of cocaine were later found in his clothes. With that, the police wondered whether other drug paraphernalia was present in the area. The cops are also said to have searched a small port in Maiori, where the production had also established a base of operations. 

Sony Pictures has yet to provide a statement regarding whether this recent development will affect the movie’s production timeline in any way. Variety reached out to Garbo Produzioni, the company that’s handling physical production in Italy, and a spokesperson said the organization had no comment.

The Equalizer 3 is the realization of a dream for action aficionados, who’d been inquiring about it since the release of the franchise’s second installment in 2018. That same year, Antoine Fuqua discussed the possibility of a third film, saying that he’d “love” to do it if the opportunity presented itself. This past January, Denzel Washington confirmed it was in development and that the script had been written. Fans got an even bigger surprise in June when it was reported that the movie would reunite Washington with Dakota Fanning, who famously starred alongside the Oscar winner in 2004’s Man on Fire.

Plot details are currently being kept under wraps and the only other confirmed cast member is Italian actress Gaia Scodellaro. More details on the movie itself are sure to arrive sooner rather than later, though it’s hard to say if or when more information will be shared about the drug raid.

The Equalizer 3 is set to open in theaters on September 1 as part of the schedule of 2023 new movie releases. The first two installments in the series can be streaming using a Hulu subscription.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.