Nicolas Winding Refn is in early talks to helm Sony's big-screen remake of 1980s TV series The Equalizer.
The project, scheduled to go into production in late spring, will star Denzel Washington as Robert McCall, a veteran covert operative who, seeking redemption for his dark deeds, quits a CIA-like agency and puts a classified advertisement in the paper that reads simply: "Got a problem? Odds against you? Call the Equalizer."
Richard Wenk (The Expendables 2) penned the screenplay.
Refn became a hot commodity following his breakout Drive, for which he won top directing honors at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. For the Equalizer gig, the New York-born Denmark-reared helmer beat out a number of contenders. Sony began meeting with directors back in August but took its time before making an offer to Refn.
Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch are producing through their Sony-based Escape Artists banner. Washington, Alex Siskin, Mace Neufeld, Tony Eldridge, Michael Sloan and David Bloomfield also will serve in a producing capacity. Andrea Giannetti and Hannah Minghella are overseeing for Sony.
The TV show, starring Edward Woodward and created by Michael Sloan and Richard Lindheim, ran from 1985-89 on CBS.
The studio has set an April 11, 2014, release date for the film adaptation.
Refn followed up the Ryan Gosling-toplined Drive with another film starring the actor, Only God Forgives, which will bow May 23.
Refn is repped by WME, Anonymous Content and attorney Peter Nelson.