New Film for Denzel Washington; Viola Davis Talks Barbara Jordan Biopic

The Oscar winner to star in The Equalizer, the Oscar-nominated actress on playing an “American Hero.”

Posted: 07/25/2012 09:00 AM EDT
Viola Davis, Denzel Washington

Fresh off the action thriller drama Safe House, Denzel Washington is continuing his streak by headlining a film reboot of a modern classic TV series.


Deadline is reporting that Washington will star in The Equalizer, which will be loosely based on the popular '80s television series, which starred Edward Woodward. While the original TV drama centered on an operations officer who helps people in trouble, the film's plot will be tailor-made for the Oscar winner. In Washington’s Equalizer he will portray a solitary figure who fights against injustice and comes to the aid of people who are victimized.


The Equalizer
is scheduled to begin shooting April 8, 2013.


Viola Davis
provided more details about the upcoming Barbara Jordan feature film biopic she is developing under her and her husband Julius Tennon’s own JuVee production company banner.


Based on 2000 biography Barbara Jordan: American Hero by Mary Beth Rogers, Davis’ film will highlight Jordan’s journey as the first African-American to serve in the Texas Senate since Reconstruction. She was also the first Black woman elected to Congress from the South and the first to deliver a national party keynote address. Jordan died at age 59 from pneumonia.


“She was an American hero…the movie that I’m working on is to show what a great political and statesperson that she was,” Davis told the Houston Chronicle. “But also because I’m a artist, I think it’s even more important to show the personal demons that she had to wrestle with to get where she got to in her life in the political arena, and I think that is what makes her a hero.”


The Oscar-nominated actress also had a few words for critics who continually bash African-American actresses for the sometime limited movie role choices they must make in Hollywood. “Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of the people who criticize Black actors do not understand the business…they think we have more control than we have,” says Davis. “They think we have access to these scripts that show us as scientific, beautiful, dark-skinned women over the age of 40 having great sex lives…and we choose not to take those scripts.”


But Davis vowed that her production company would be a part of the solution in better and more diverse roles for African-American actors. “I realized that in 24 years in this business you have to be the creator of this different material,” she says. “All the stuff I’m working on has roles for Black actors in Hollywood—and good roles.... The only thing that separates many Black actors from many of their Caucasian counterparts that are thriving is opportunity.”


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(Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)

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