Denzel Washington to play Hannibal

Denzel Washington in The Equalizer 2
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Denzel Washington is set to play the legendary conqueror Hannibal in another partnership with regular collaborator, Antoine Fuqua.

In what is surely the splashiest post-strike casting announcement yet, we’ve learned that none other than Denzel Washington is going to play Hannibal in a new film helmed by Antoine Fuqua.

No, he’s not playing the famed cannibal, nor is he playing the cigar-chomping one from The A-Team (although he would surely excel in both of those roles). Instead, Washington is set to play the legendary Hannibal Barca, one of the most legendary military leaders in history who won a string of victories against the Roman Empire, the most powerful and tactically-advanced military force of their day (that day being around 218BC).

Hannibal (who like Denzel is iconic enough to be known simply on first name terms) is remembered mostly for attacking Rome with a band of war elephants as part of a dazzlingly brilliant strategy that completely wrong-footed the foremost military superpower of the era.

The project is set to reunite Washington once again with Antoine Fuqua with whom he has worked several times. Their partnership began with 2001’s Training Day and was most recently continued with this year’s The Equalizer 3. What’s more, Gladiator writer John Logan is behind the script.

Apparently, Fuqua’s production company has a first-look deal with Netflix so that’s where the project has been set up.

Speaking of Gladiator, Washington has to finish up his duties in that film’s currently-shooting sequel (with its baboon attack) before he gets going on the Hannibal project.

Apparently, it’s a film that Washington wanted to make a couple of decades ago but opted not to, given the time it have taken away from being with his young family. With news also emerging today that Amazon is looking to revive Masters Of the Universe, another project that is 20 years in the making, it looks like it’s a day for long-overdue announcements. (Now we just need some news on the Mean Girls sequel that we all want…)


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