Antoine Fuqua has found himself in the position of being a director in serious demand. His last film, Olympus Has Fallen, was a big box office success when it came out last year, and this fall he is back working with his Training Day star Denzel Washington on the television show adaptation The Equalizer. These projects have gotten people excited, and as a result, some big studios are now courting him to helm three fairly significant upcoming projects.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fuqua has been taking meetings at Fox, MGM and Sony to discuss the possibility of directing the new thriller Narco Sub, the western remake The Magnificent Seven, or a sequel to The Equalizer which for now just going by the name Equalizer 2. At this point it's unclear which way the director is currently leaning, but the trade report says that all of the studios consider their titles "to be high priority."
Of the three projects, Narco Sub has been in some form of pre-production for the longest amount of time. In the film, a disgraced American naval officer is forced by an Ecuadorian drug lord to pilot a submarine packed with cocaine past the United States Coast Guard without sending up any red flags. We first learned about it all the way back in 2011 when Tony Scott was attached to helm, and since then there has also been word that Edge of Tomorrow's Doug Liman was at one point interested in directing as well.
Based on the 1960 John Sturges movie (which was itself a remake of Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai), MGM's new version of The Magnificent Seven has been in development since 2012, but rather than focusing on directors the project has instead been more focused on stars. We've heard stories about Tom Cruise and Matt Damon possibly being up for playing two of the titular gang, but neither seem to actually be attached at this time. True Detective author Nic Pizzolatto is handling the script, and there's now been word that Brad Pitt may be interested in taking a big part (which is a pretty big incentive for Fuqua).
Finally there's The Equalizer 2, which has the benefit of being a project that Fuqua is likely already very familiar with. Provided that the first movie does well at the box office, The Equalizer could be the start of an interesting franchise, and it would be interesting to see if the director has any interest in putting his mark on a series. He already turned down the chance to make London Has Falling, the Olympus Has Fallen follow-up, so maybe this is his second chance to give sequels a shot.
What only makes this whole situation more interesting is that Antoine Fuqua's schedule isn't exactly clear and whatever he ends up choosing of the three new options probably won't be next. The boxing drama Southpaw - which Fuqua first signed on to back in 2011 - is moving forward with a great cast that includes Jake Gyllenhaal, Lupita Nyong'o, Forest Whitaker and Rachel McAdams. Whatever happens from here is anybody's guess.
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Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.