The Equalizer (2014) Poster



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The script originally has no back story about Robert, so Denzel Washington contributed much to the character's background and back story including Robert having obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). In addition to his daily physical and fight training before filming, Washington met and interviewed several real-life OCD people as to gain insights of how to play that disorder correctly.
Teri was originally written for an older actress, but Chloë Grace Moretz impressed the director so much, he made the role younger.
Slavi refers to Robert as "dedushka" when they meet at the restaurant. This is Russian for "grandfather".
The film's test screenings received the highest scores and most positive reactions of any R-rated Sony film.
Actress Chloë Grace Moretz fought for the role of Teri when she found out it was written for someone of the age of 24. She presented herself so well, the director immediately made the change.
Based on the classic television series starring Edward Woodward.
Parts of the film were shot at an abandoned Lowe's in Haverhill, MA.
Russell Crowe was originally attached to star as Robert McCall.
The screenplay for this film was featured in the 2012 Blacklist; a list of the "most liked" unmade scripts of the year.
The film languished in development hell for several years before it finally began. It was originally developed by the Weinstein brothers in 2005. They brought in novelists Michael Connelly and Terill Lee to write the first script with Paul McGuigan to direct. With no progress, in 2010, the rights were then sold to Mace Neufeld and Escape Artists'. Paul Haggis was brought in to write another draft with Russell Crowe to play Robert. However other project commitments resulted in both men dropping out before Denzel Washington saw the script and expressed interest in playing Robert.
Denzel Washington and Jacob Sullivan worked on a screenplay during downtime from shooting.
The scene in which Teddy (Nikolai) and the dirty cops meet with "Little" John Looney, is filmed at the Boston Sand & Gravel company, the same location in which a scene from "The Town" takes place.
Nicolas Winding Refn was the original director but left the project one month later in January 2013 when he could not agree to contractual terms with the producers on his deal. Rupert Wyatt was the next person approached, but he declined citing scheduling problems (Wyatt also turned down directing Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) for the same reason) before they finally offered it to Antoine Fuqua.
Denzel Washington's earring holes were digitally edited out for close ups. By the end of the movie when he's sitting in the dark talking to Pushkin, you can see the earring hole in his left earlobe.
The book that McCall is reading after 'The Old Man & the Sea' is most likely 'Don Quijote de La Mancha', written by Miguel de Cervantes and published in 1605.
When McCall contacts the FBI after he takes over the money room and then leaves Detective Masters for the Boston PD, he asks for Agent Mosely. This is an easter egg to the Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin movie Midnight Run (1988). FBI Agent Mosely was played by Yaphet Kotto.
At the beginning in Robert's home when the bookcase is shown, there are leather bound books. These appear to be from the Franklin Library/Franklin Mint, these were offered as a set back in the 80's.
The watch Robert McCall wears is a Suunto Core All Black.
McCall asks Andri if his gun is a "Heckler Koch." The gun is actually a Springfield Armory.
Gerard Butler was considered for the lead role of Robert McCall.
The name "Teddy" as played by Marton Csokas is also a nickname for Edward. This is a nod to Edward Woodward who starred in the original TV series The Equalizer (1985).
As well as appearing in Flight (2012) with Denzel Washington, Melissa Leo also appeared in the original Equalizer television series The Equalizer: The Defector (1985) where she portrays the daughter of a former Soviet agent who enlists McCall's help to defect to the US.
During the scene in which Robert and Teri are discussing books at the diner, Robert mentions that he is attempting to make his way through the "100 Books Everybody Should Read" list, because it was something his wife also attempted to do before she died. This list contains a book called "Eugene Onegin" by Alexander Pushkin. There is a character by the name of "Pushkin" who Robert later identifies as the "head of the snake," basically meaning the first generation villain of the entire Russian operation that which Robert attempts to derail throughout the progression of the film. Pushkin is, more or less, the final target Robert needs to eliminate in order to complete this particular mission of "equalization".
Melissa Leo previously guest starred in The Equalizer: The Defector (1985).
Several aerial shots of the Leonard P. Zakim [Bunker Hill Memorial] bridge are seen throughout the film. The bridge is the main entry/exit route into Boston, and is featured in several movies and TV shows that take place in Boston.
In the scene near the end where McCall confronts Puskin at his mansion in Moscow, the mansion that belongs to Pushkin is the same one that was used in Flowers in the Attic (1987).
During his training, Ralphie wears a "Foreigner world tour" t-shirt. The song "Urgent" was used in France to promote the TV show The Equalizer (1985).
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Both Denzel Washington and Melissa Leo also appeared in Flight (2012).
The closing credits Font in the Movie was the same Font used in the TV program.
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Chloë Grace Moretz plays the character Teri, which is also her real-life mother's name.
When Teddy is picked up on the private airport runway by Detectives Masters, Pederson & Remar, Pederson introduces himself as Morgan Pederson. Pederson is played by James Wilcox who has a brother-in-law named Morgan Peterson.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

McCall is never actually shown shooting a firearm. At the restaurant, he twists a henchman's arm forcing him to shoot his boss. Towards the end of the film McCall only uses the rifle for the scope and eventually uses a nail gun. Everyone else is neutralized by other creative means.
McCall's Craiglist posting, entitled, "Odds Against You? Need Help?" was the same slogan used in The Equalizer's classified ad in the 1986 television show.
In the final fight scene the nail gun used is referred to as a tap nailer. It uses a .22 cal blank to fire nails into steel and concrete on construction sites
The car in the garage that Robert traps the dirty cop in is an older Jaguar XJ, the model of car that Robert McCall drove in the series.
McCall's former occupation is never fully revealed, but a reference to the "Agency" by Melissa Leo's character which may mean that McCall worked for the CIA in some capacity, most likely in their Special Activities Division, where he would have developed the skills and tactics he used throughout the film.
Body Count: 20.
When his coworkers asked what he did before he worked at the Home Mart, McCall says he was a 'Pip' (as in Gladys Knight & The Pips) & he dances a little for them. When Teddy's men take the employees hostage and are getting ready to shoot one of them, the song that McCall plays on the store PA to get their attention is 'Midnight Train to Georgia' .. by Gladys Knight & The Pips.
Denzel Washington was killed by the Russian mob in Training Day, but in this film he kills them. Both films have the same director.
The last pull-away shot of the film is an homage to the scene by artist Edward Hopper's painting "Nighthawks." Edward was also the first name of the actor who originally played as 'The Equalizer.'
McCall e-mails files to an FBI Agent Mosely. The FBI Agent in Midnight Run was also Agent Mosely.
When Washington's character turns the money over to the police, he writes "follow the money" on one of the hundred dollar bills. In the movie Inside Man (2006), Washington plays a police officer who gets a clue from the bank robber that says "follow the ring"
Teddy's true identity is Nikolai Itchenko.

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