‘The Equalizer’ TV Series Starring Queen Latifah in the Works at CBS

     November 4, 2019


Denzel Washington had better watch his back, because even though King Kong ain’t got shit on him, the Queen just might! I’m mixing up my movie references, of course, but yeah… you saw the headline. You clicked on the story. CBS is developing a reboot of The Equalizer, the TV show-turned-movie that is being turned back into a TV show, and this time, Queen Latifah herself is going to be doing the equalizing.

That is… certainly something! And I mean, look at that photo above. Sure, it’s from Set It Off which came out 23 years ago, but whatever! Would you mess with that woman? Me neither!

The project hails from Take Two creators Andrew Marlowe and Terri Miller, who have come up with a new take on the character originated by Edward Woodward on the small screen. And though the character will have a new name — Roberta McCall, perhaps? — Queen Latifah will still be playing an enigmatic figure who uses her extensive skills to help those with nowhere else to turn. She has some big Denzel-sized shoes to fill, but if anyone’s going to try, it might as well be royalty.


Image via Sony

CBS has given the new Equalizer a pilot production commitment, and Queen Latifah will executive produce along with showrunners Marlowe and Miller, as well as John Davis and John Fox of Davis Entertainment, Debra Martin Chase of Martin Chase Productions, Shakim Compere of Flavor Unit, and Richard Lindheim, who co-created the original Equalizer TV series. Universal Television and CBS TV Studios are also producing, as the original series aired on CBS from 1985 to 1989, and was produced by Universal Television, which has prioritized a small screen reboot for the past several years, though dealmaking always proved difficult. With the right team in place, the project is finally moving forward.

Interestingly enough, Queen Latifah once played Denzel Washington’s caretaker in The Bone Collector — a role that is written as a man in Jeffery Deaver‘s chilling series of books. The Equalizer is another example of Latifah reinventing a male character and putting her own spin on things. Coincidentally, NBC will debut a Bone Collector adaptation titled Lincoln next year.

Queen Latifah recently starred in Girls Trip and the TV series Star, and she also served as an executive producer on Scream: The TV Series. She’s set to play Ursula in The Little Mermaid Live! and she’ll also appear in the Hulu TV series When the Street Lights Go On. She’s represented by UTA, and you can read more about Issa Rae and New Line’s planned remake of Set It Off by clicking here.