A few months back, Denzel Washington’s contribution to the 2023 movie release calendar, The Equalizer 3, opened in theaters. This marked the actor’s fourth collaboration with director Antoine Fuqua, whom he first worked with on 2001’s Training Day. While this threquel ended the Equalizer film series, that doesn’t mean Washington and Fuqua are done teaming up, as the two have signed on for their fifth movie together.
Netflix announced that Washington has signed on to play Hannibal in a historical epic that will chronicle the great military commander’s battles against the Roman Empire in the Second Punic War. Fuqua will direct this upcoming movie for Netflix subscribers, and John Logan of Gladiator and The Aviator fame is writing the script. Washington and Fuqua are also producing this untitled drama (the latter through his production Company Hill District Media, which has a first-look deal with the streamer) alongside Erik Olsen and Adam Goldworm, and Jeremy Lott and Frank Moll are executive producing.
As noted by Deadline, Denzel Washington has been wanting to play Hannibal for over 20 years, back when the project was originally set up at 20th Century Fox. However, that was also at a time when the Malcolm X star didn’t want to be away from his kids for a long time, so it never got off the ground at what’s now called 20th Century Studios and under the Disney banner. Instead, two decades, later, Netflix is breathing life into this Hannibal movie, and gives Washington and Fuqua their second opportunity to tackle a non-Equalizer-focused story together.
This marks yet another movie tied to the Roman Empire that Denzel Washington has coming up, as he’s also a member of Gladiator 2’s cast alongside people like Paul Mescal, Connie Nielsen and Pedro Pascal. Additionally, he’s producing a film adaptation of The Piano Lesson that will star his son John David Washington and Samuel L. Jackson, and has also been set up at Netflix. Besides The Equalizer 3, Washington’s other recent onscreen film credits include The Little Things and The Tragedy of Macbeth.
Meanwhile, prior to The Equalizer 3, Antoine Fuqua teamed with Will Smith on Emancipation, which, like The Tragedy of Macbeth, can be streamed with an Apple TV+ subscription. He also worked on the Chris Pratt-led TV series The Terminal List, which Amazon Prime Video subscribers can check out, as an executive producer and director of the first episode. Looking ahead, along with Netflix’s Hannibal project, Fuqua is helming a movie about Michael Jackson that will star Jaafar Jackson as his late uncle.
While we wait for more details about Denzel Washington’s Hannibal movie and the first looks at him in character, remember that there are plenty of offerings on the Netflix movie schedule to look forward to in the remainder of 2023 and going into 2024.