Denzel Washington leaves 'The Late Show with David Letterman' at Ed Sullivan Theater on February 7, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Donna Ward/Getty Images)

Denzel Washington looks to be signing on for another high-profile action role. He is set to star in Sony’s big screen version of the 1980s spy thriller TV show The Equalizer. The lead role is that of a mysterious, middle-aged covert ops specialist who comes to the aid of those in need. Deadline has more:

The hot project on the Sony Pictures lot right now is The Equalizer, after a script by Richard Wenk prompted the studio to expedite Denzel Washington’s deal and set an April 8 start date, likely in Boston. Washington was attached when this was mentioned as a development project last year as the studio extended by three years its first look deal with Escape Artists partners Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch. It has come a long way since then.

Washington’s deal is being closed right now and I’m told he’ll be getting his customary $20 million price, but that this is a smartly budget thriller that will come in around $50 million and is designed to launch the first franchise for the actor. Now, directors are lining up for the job. I’ve heard names on the studio’s list that include Pierre Morel, Nicolas Winding Refn, Gavin O’Connor and Gareth Evans. Insiders tell me that the studio is just now setting meetings and that there will be a bunch of them before a director is set.

Click here to read more.