Filmmaker Antoine Fuqua Takes the Equalizer Abroad| Exploring Italy and the Making of Equalizer 3|

Equalizer 3 : In recent years, acclaimed filmmaker Antoine Fuqua has been nurturing a dream – taking the popular action franchise, “The Equalizer,” on an international journey. The franchise, which loosely originated from a 1980s television series and features Denzel Washington as the enigmatic assassin Robert McCall, began humbly in Boston.

After two successful films and an impressive box office revenue of $382.7 million over the past decade, the time seemed ripe for the franchise to venture beyond its domestic roots and explore the world stage.

Expanding Horizons: The International Perspective

“Denzel is an international movie star,” Fuqua shared with The Associated Press. “We thought it would be nice to see a man of color in a story that’s more international. Why not take this character around the world? Luckily, Sony loved the idea.” The vision to take Robert McCall on a global escapade was in line with the star’s charismatic presence and the franchise’s proven success.

Italy: The Chosen Destination

Among the various locations considered for the international expansion, there was one standout choice: Italy. Denzel Washington’s personal connection with the country, as he frequents it every summer, played a significant role in the decision. Fuqua mentioned that Washington’s affection for the culture, people, and cuisine of Italy was evident. The decision to shoot in Italy was not only a creative one but also a personal one that resonated with the actors and the production team.

From Rome to the Amalfi Coast: A Filmmaking Odyssey

Italy offered a canvas of diverse and captivating landscapes that the filmmakers could weave into the story. The opportunity to shoot in Cinecittà Studios in Rome brought Fuqua’s filmmaking dreams to life. The historic setting allowed the team to immerse themselves in the aura of cinematic legends like Fellini.

Authenticity in Every Frame

Naples, with its gritty 1970s New York ambiance, required minimal production design, as it naturally embodied the essence of the era. The Amalfi coast introduced the filmmakers to Atrani, a picturesque village that became the embodiment of McCall’s fantasies in “Equalizer 3,” set to premiere in Indian theaters soon. The connection between McCall and the village was profound, capturing a sense of protectiveness and belonging.

The Price of Authenticity: Climbing 700 Steps

While Atrani held an enchanting medieval church on the mountainside, the location came with a challenging ascent of over 700 steps. The arduous journey with filming equipment underscored the commitment to showcasing real places rather than merely picturesque backdrops. Fuqua and cinematographer Robert Richardson aimed to encapsulate the authentic essence of life in these locales.

A Collaboration That Thrives

“Equalizer 3” is the product of a collaborative effort fueled by decades of history. Producers Todd Black and Jason Blumenthal, along with Washington and Fuqua, have a rich professional relationship. Fuqua, having directed Washington in critically acclaimed films like “Training Day” and “The Magnificent Seven,” understands the dynamics that lead to success. Their approach was simple: focus on delivering engaging scripts and let the audience determine the trajectory.

Confidence Amidst Challenges

Despite challenges, such as a Hollywood writers’ strike and the absence of traditional promotional activities, the team remains confident in the reception of “Equalizer 3.” The combination of Fuqua’s masterful direction and Washington’s powerful portrayal of McCall has proven to be a winning formula. Black’s assurance and enthusiasm stem from the trust and bond cultivated over years of collaboration.

Reflecting Life Through Film

“Equalizer 3” not only brings McCall’s character to new territories but also reflects the evolution of Washington and Fuqua. Both the star and the director have embraced a more serene and patient outlook on life. Fuqua noted that Washington now takes time to appreciate the simple joys, even stopping to admire a sunrise. This transformation is mirrored in McCall’s character, making the film a reflection of life’s journeys and changes.


Antoine Fuqua’s ambitious endeavor to take the “Equalizer” franchise abroad has resulted in a captivating cinematic experience. The decision to immerse the story in the captivating landscapes of Italy has added depth and authenticity to the narrative. As “Equalizer 3” graces screens, audiences are set to embark on a new adventure with McCall, celebrating the synergy of talent, vision, and storytelling.

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Is “Equalizer 3” the first film set outside the United States?

No, “Equalizer 3” marks the first international venture for the franchise, exploring captivating locations in Italy.

How did the collaboration between Denzel Washington and Antoine Fuqua begin?

The collaboration between Denzel Washington and Antoine Fuqua began with “Training Day,” which earned Washington his first lead actor Oscar.

What challenges did the production face during filming in Italy?

One notable challenge was filming scenes at a medieval church atop a mountainside in Atrani, requiring the crew to ascend over 700 steps with equipment.

How confident is the team about “Equalizer 3’s” success amidst the absence of traditional promotions?

The team remains confident in the film’s success due to the compelling storyline, impressive direction, and the trust built over years of collaboration.

How does “Equalizer 3” reflect Denzel Washington’s real-life transformation?

“Equalizer 3” portrays Robert McCall’s character development, which parallels Denzel Washington’s own transformation toward appreciating life’s simple pleasures.

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