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Denzel Washington’s new movie was missing two actors, here’s why

Director Antoine Fuqua and star Denzel Washington seemed intent on making each of The Equalizer movies stand alone, with few returning characters.

Denzel Washington in The Equalizer

The Equalizer franchise has been a safe bet for Hollywood since the first movie, and Denzel Washington is still one of the rare movie stars whose name can almost guarantee a return at the box office. And there aren’t many movie stars such as that left anymore. It’s unsurprising then, that Denzel Washington reteamed with director Antoine Fuqua for The Equalizer 3, but it’s almost a stand-alone spin-off with it being set in Italy and not really having any returning characters from the franchise.

Bill Pullman and Melissa Leo, who appeared in both of the first two films in the action movie franchise haven’t returned for the third. Other actors such as Pedro Pascal and Ashton Sanders (2018’s The Equalizer 2) or David Harbour, Haley Bennett, Chloe Grace Moretz, or Johnny Skourtis (2014’s The Equalizer) have also not returned. There’s also now a Equalizer thriller series that has been airing on TV since 2021 starring Queen Latifah.

Director Antoine Fuqua told The Hollywood Reporter that there was never any intention of incorporating characters from either the first two movies, or from the TV series in The Equalizer 3 cast.

Regarding the TV series, Fuqua said; “We absolutely have no connection to that; it wasn’t even in [our] thinking, really. We just did one movie at a time, and it was the audience that made each film successful. So they wanted us to come back and do it again.”

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When asked if there was there ever a version of this final movie in the trilogy where we checked in with past characters like Ralphie the Security Guard (Johnny Skourtis) or Alina (Chloe Grace Moretz), Fuqua replied; “No, it was always going to be separate storylines altogether.”

Check out our guide to the best thriller movies and the best spy movies. You can also read our The Equalizer 3 review and our list of the best Denzel Washington movies.