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Merrimack Valley

June 12, 2013

Talks continue for Denzel Washington movie to film in Salisbury

SALISBURY — Hollywood could pay a visit to Salisbury Beach Center by the beginning of September, if negotiations go well between town officials and Columbia Pictures, which is interested in filming a scene for an upcoming movie there.

Selectmen on Monday gave their approval to Town Manager Neil Harrington to continue talks with the film company that is hoping to shoot a scene at the beach for the movie “The Equalizer,” starring Academy Award winner Denzel Washington. Although not giving the final OK yet, selectmen seemed pleased that Hollywood is interested in using Salisbury Beach as a backdrop.

According to Columbia Pictures location manager Mark Fitzgerald, the movie is loosely based on a 1980s television series by the same name.

It starred the late British actor Edward Woodward, who won the 1986 Golden Globe for Best Actor. Woodward played middle-aged, retired, CIA-type Robert McCall, who sought redemption for his past sins as a covert agent by taking on the role of a vigilante investigator.

His goal was protecting society’s underdogs and getting them out of bad situations for free. In the series, McCall placed classified ads that read: “Got a problem? Odds against you? Call the Equalizer.”

The film version, which is set to be released next year, cast Washington in the role of McCall. According to published reports, in the movie, McCall defends a teenage prostitute, played by Chloe Grace Moretz, from a Russian mafia arch villain, played by New Zealand actor Marton Csokas.

The movie pairs Washington again with movie director Antoine Fugua. The pair worked together on the movie “Training Day,” for which Washington won a Best Actor Academy Award, after being nominated for similar awards twice for his work in “Malcolm X” and “The Hurricane.”

The movie is expected to start production soon at a facility in Haverhill.

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