Queen Latifah has a couple of series regular roles on television shows under her acting belt, and now that Fox's Star has been over for several months, it looks like she might have found her next big TV gig. And, it's a pretty surprising one, considering that she's signed on as the lead of the CBS reboot of The Equalizer. What? Yeah, I know. Let's dig into this.
CBS has just given The Equalizer a pilot production commitment, with Queen Latifah set to star as the one who equalizes, along with executive producing the reboot of the CBS classic. The Equalizer initially ran for four seasons, from 1985-1989, and starred Edward Woodward in the titular role, but the property was recently taken to the big screen in two films, with Denzel Washington in the lead. And, if you're afraid the new series will veer too far from the original, you can take solace in the fact that Richard Lindheim, who co-created the first series, is also acting as an EP.
As with the original show and the Denzel Washington movies, The Equalizer will feature Queen Latifah as a mysterious figure who uses her wealth of knowledge and skills to help people with some big problems who feel they have nowhere else to turn when it comes to getting out of tricky, or just plain dangerous, situations. According to Deadline, The Equalizer comes from Andrew Marlowe and Terri Miller (both of ABC's Take Two), Flavor Unit, Martin Chase Productions, Davis Entertainment, Universal Television and CBS TV Studios. Marlowe and Miller will also write and act as showrunners.
Obviously, this will be a big departure for The Eqalizer, as only men have played the leading equalizer of wrongs in the past. Both the previous show and the movies set their main character as Robert McCall, who was a retired intelligence agent with a mysterious past. There's no word right now what moniker Queen Latifah's version of the character will go by, or how she's come by her many skills, but who can really argue that Latifah is wrong for this part?
Truthfully, I don't believe we've ever seen Queen Latifah in a role where she wasn't a take charge, authoritative individual. She's not known for playing badasses in a Robert McCall / Liam Neeson in the Taken franchise kind of way, but her characters always work towards their goals with the kind of fierce determination that we need to see from The Equalizer. There's no doubt in my mind that she could solve any number of problems for those in need. Hell, I wouldn't mind giving over some of my issues to the real Queen Latifah. I'm sure she'd tell me what to do in good faith.
Along with Star (which was cancelled after Season 3), Queen Latifah has been in a host of TV shows and movies. These include Living Single (sounds like we might have to wait for that revival), House Party 2, Set It Off, Beauty Shop, Hairspray, Just Wright, Girls Trip and Chicago (which netted her an Oscar nomination in 2003). Plus, she'll be in the upcoming live TV musical version of The Little Mermaid on November 5.
Universal TV, which produced the initial television show, has been trying to bring the property back to the small screen for about five years, with several attempts to lock down a new take falling through. I'm sure those behind The Equalizer are bolstered by the show of faith they've gotten from CBS with this pilot commitment.
The Equalizer is still in the very early stages, but stick with CinemaBlend and we'll let you know as things develop. In the meantime, be sure to see what else you can watch by perusing our 2019 fall TV premiere guide!