Denzel Washington is an absolute legend of cinema, and any list of the greatest Denzel Washington films will include many of the best movies ever made. So it might be a surprise to learn how often one of the best actors on the planet has made remakes.
To name just a few, Washington has starred in remakes of The Manchurian Candidate, Man on Fire, The Magnificent Seven, and The Taking of Pelham 123. His only franchise, The Equalizer is a remake of a TV series from the 1980s.
While promoting The Manchurian Candidate – a remake of a 1962 film starring Frank Sinatra – in 2004, Washington told IGN why he doesn’t mind turning to remakes of supposedly “untouchable” classics for his new movies. And, to be honest, it’s a great argument.
Washington said: “Well, a lot of people considered original Shakespeare a classic, too, but he’s been interpreted many times. I think that’s all the more of a reason to do it. A good piece of material should be. I don’t know why it is in film that somehow it’s sacred and you shouldn’t. In theater, it happens all the time.”
It’s a fair point, right? Nobody blinks an eye at the idea of staging a new production of a Shakespeare classic, so there’s no reason that cinema should be any different. We’re all a bit prejudiced towards remakes at times, but maybe that’s a little unfair.
As long as they stay away from Jaws, of course. I’ll set a hungry great white shark on anyone who goes near that masterpiece.
For more on the best Denzel Washington movies, find out why he got complaints about one of his most violent scenes and then learn about the chance of a crossover between The Equalizer and John Wick.
Sticking with hard-hitting action, take a look at our Scott Adkins interview about John Wick 4.