Dakota Fanning is joining her Man on Fire co-star Denzel Washington in The Equalizer 3. The duo first starred together in 2004’s Man on Fire from director Tony Scott, which had Washington playing a former CIA operative who is hired as private security to protect Fanning, the daughter of a high-profile Mexican businessman. When things go wrong and she’s kidnapped, Washington goes on a no-holds-barred suicide mission to rescue her. Fanning was 10 years old when they made the film, which served as one of many performances that elevated the young artist’s career.
Washington starred in the last two films in The Equalizer franchise, both directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day). They follow the exploits of Robert McCall (Washington), a former U.S. Marine turned CIA intel officer who uses his skills to enact vigilante-style justice on criminals who think they’re above the law, typically in an effort to help out someone less fortunate. The Equalizer was originally a TV series in the 80s that starred Edward Woodward and has since been revived in TV form with Queen Latifah as the new Equalizer.
Fanning is now joining Washington in the franchise as she will co-star with the actor in The Equalizer 3 (per Deadline). The Man on Fire reunion will be nearly 20 years in the making by the time the film is released, which is currently slated to debut on September 1st, 2023. Richard Wenk, who scripted the last two films, is writing the third entry with director Antoine Fuqua back behind the camera. The plot is being kept under wraps and no details were given on specifics for Fanning’s part, but it’s likely she’ll play a character in need of McCall’s help to some degree, as the franchise formula goes.
The Equalizer franchise has been a lucrative one thus far and the only franchise that Washington has done sequels for. The first two entries made over $190 million worldwide, which is a significant amount given the relatively low overhead to make them. Washington has worked with Fuqua outside of The Equalizer films with his Oscar-winning turn in Training Day and the western remake The Magnificent Seven. Fanning has stayed busy since Man on Fire, earning a name for herself beyond her child actor days, starring as Cherie Currie in The Runaways biopic, as well as featuring in the Ocean’s 8 spinoff and Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood. She is currently starring in Showtime’s The First Lady.
It’s always great to see co-stars reunite after many years and seeing a grown-up Fanning with an older Washington in a franchise action film feels like a cool onscreen reunion for the pair. Man on Fire is a highly-revered action film that benefited significantly from the chemistry between the two stars, serving to make Washington’s mission to rescue his young ward that much more compelling. Fanning has proven her acting chops time and again and Washington is one of the greatest actors of all time, so it should be nothing less than a cinematic treat to see the duo pair up for another big-screen adventure with The Equalizer 3.