Maybe the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) wanted to announce one last surprise to their line-up before it could be scooped up by Telluride or maybe it’s just a coincidence that this last-minute announcement happened merely an hour after Telluride’s own line-up announcement, but the TIFF has added Dan Gilroy’s ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ. starring Denzel Washington, to its already robust line-up.
Of course, eagle-eyed browsers who’ve been spending time perusing the TIFF site to prepare for the festival earlier this week may have already known this when the information accidentally leaked to the site, but now it’s announced officially.
Neither Gilroy nor Washington are strangers to TIFF, Gilroy having premiered his previous thriller Nightcrawler starring Jake Gyllenhaal there three years ago. Two of Denzel Washington’s last three films, The Equalizer and The Magnificent Seven, both remakes directed by Antoine Fuqua, also had their World Premieres in Toronto. Gilroy received an Oscar nomination for his screenplay for Nightcrawler while Jake Gyllenhaal received a Golden Globe nomination.
Sony Pictures will release the film on Nov. 3, in which Washington plays the title character, an idealistic defense lawyer within the Los Angeles criminal court system whose life is changed by events that challenge those ideas. The film also stars Colin Farrell as the lawyer who recruits Washington’s character to his firm.
Washington received his seventh and eighth Oscar nominations earlier this year as the star and producer of Fences, the adaptation of an August Wilson play which he also directed. The actor has won two previous Oscars, one in the supporting category and one as lead as the Fuqua-directed Training Day.
Washington will reunite with Fuqua in two short weeks — presumably after the premiere of the Dan Gilroy thriller — to begin filming The Equalizer 2, which is set for a Sept. 2018 release by Sony.
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor