Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn has signed on to direct The Equalizer big screen adaptation for Sony Pictures. We reported nearly one year ago that Denzel Washington is attached to star.

The Equalizer TV series debuted in 1985, starring Edward Woodward as a former spy who decides to help those in need, free of charge. The feature version will alter the premise slightly, featuring Denzel Washington as a lone recluse, determined to stop helpless people from being victimized. The series ran for four seasons, concluding in 1989.

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We reported in 2010 that Oscar winner Paul Haggis was writing the screenplay, but it seems he is no longer involved, with Sony working from a draft by Richard Wenk (The Expendables 2). Jason Blumenthal, Steve Tisch, and Todd Black are producing for Escape Artists, alongside Alex Siskin, Mace Neufeld, Tony Eldridge, Michael Sloan, and Denzel Washington.

Production is slated to begin in the spring of 2013.