When you want a leader with authority, you call Denzel Washington. The two-time Oscar winner brings automatic legitimacy to projects, and when he's onscreen, you know who every other character respects and listens to. But how about Denzel Washington as the leader of a major ensemble? In fact, what do you think about Denzel Washington leading seven people, all of whom are... Magnificent?
Schmoes Know are reporting that Denzel Washington is the guy being sought to lead MGM's reboot of the John Sturges classic The Magnificent Seven. As we know, Antoine Fuqua was recently offered the job, because if you're thinking of a modern day John Sturges, it's obviously the guy who made Olympus Has Fallen. The report claims that not only has Fuqua taken the offer (over other MGM projects The Equalizer 2 and Narco Sub) but that he rang up his own personal lucky rabbit's foot, Mr. Washington himself.
Denzel Washington provided the grit and machismo that made Training Day Fuqua's most revered movie. Washington won the Best Actor Oscar, and co-star Ethan Hawke also received a nomination. It would be the last film Fuqua ever made that would receive any awards attention. But apparently test scores for The Equalizer, which teams Fuqua with Washington once again, are through the roof. MGM is hot on the idea of a sequel to The Equalizer months before the film's actual release, but it might be best for Fuqua and Washington to try something else first.
The initial report regarding Fuqua's involvement mentions Brad Pitt also being interested. Of course, interest in Magnificent Seven comes and goes for some of Hollywood's biggest stars – the question is if Denzel is the first to officially sign on, who does he feel comfortable sharing the spotlight with? Washington recently seemed to bypass the idea of making Uptown Saturday Night with Will Smith. Will he scoff at sharing the screen with a star like Pitt, even if Pitt is playing one of his idiosyncratic supporting roles? Washington tends to be the lead in most everything, which is why he looked so uncomfortable in last year's 2 Guns alongside Mark Wahlberg. When you make The Magnificent Seven, you're probably hoping to cast each of the roles with someone of considerable talent and clout.
The Magnificent Seven, for those of you with dubious cinematic educations, was released in 1960, starring Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn and Eli Wallach. It's already something of a remake, borrowing from The Seven Samurai (which you should have also seen!!). While later generations are unfamiliar with it, everyone likely knows the classic Elmer Bernstein theme.
The new version is being scripted by Nic Pizzolatto , the writer behind True Detective, and should start movement after the suddenly-busy Fuqua completes the boxing drama Southpaw.