Coming off the critical and box-office success enjoyed by The Equalizer 3, Denzel Washington and Antoine Fuqua look set to continue their longtime creative partnership for Netflix in an upcoming historical film.
Per Deadline, Washington and Fuqua are developing a Netflix pic set in ancient Rome. The film will see Washington play Hannibal, the renowned Carthaginian general known for attacking Rome while perched atop an elephant. Oscar-nominated scriptwriter John Logan, known for his work on Gladiator and The Aviator, is penning the screenplay for the yet-to-be-titled flick. Reportedly, the project has been something Washington has wanted to do since the 2000s, but production stalled as Fox wanted to make the film when Washington didn’t want to be absent from his family for an extended period.
The Netflix film will chronicle the key battles that Hannibal fought against the Roman Republic during the Second Punic War between 218 and 201 B.C. Hannibal was known as a skilled military strategist having emerged from the Alps, and he posed a serious threat to the Roman Republic, leading his troops into what is now known as Tunisia, earning several notable victories that helped boost his legend. Fuqua’s production company, Hill District Media, is attached to the project, with the film coming under the company’s first-look deal with Netflix.
Washington and Fuqua’s fruitful partnership dates back to their work together on the classic movie Training Day, which saw Washington play reviled crooked cop Alonzo Harris. The crime thriller won Washington the Best Actor Academy Award and is Fuqua’s most successful work to date. Having also worked together on 2016’s The Magnificent Seven, Fuqua cast Washington in The Equalizer franchise, the only film series the actor has ever starred in, to play the former U.S. marine-turned-vigilante Robert McCall.
The Equalizer 3 is the likely end of the titular franchise, which is based on the ’80s show of the same name, with Fuqua calling the threequel Washington’s “final masterpiece of violence.” The film enjoyed a solid box office run, earning just under $188 million worldwide against its $70 million budget, while comfortably the best acclaim of any movie in the gory action trilogy. Fuqua has teased a potential prequel starring Denzel’s son, John David Washington.
Washington will also feature in Ridley Scott’s Gladiator 2, which is expected to resume production soon following the end of the SAG-AFTRA strike. Meanwhile, Fuqua is working on the biographical drama film Rob Peace starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, as well as working on a Michael Jackson biopic for Universal Pictures. He recently signaled his intent to direct a Batman film at some point.
The Equalizer 3 is now available on digital and drops via Blu-ray, DVD and 4K on Nov. 14.