EXCLUSIVE: Melissa Leo is negotiating to join Denzel Washington in the Antoine Fuqua-directed The Equalizer for Sony Pictures. The film, based on the ’80s CBS TV series, is being produced by Escape Artists’ Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch. Leo, who won an Oscar for The Fighter, reunites with Fuqua, who directed her in Olympus Has Fallen. Washington plays McCall, a retired covert operative who, seeking redemption for his dark deeds, quits a CIA-like agency and puts an ad in the paper that reads simply: “Got a problem? Odds against you? Call the Equalizer.” Leo will play McCall’s former handler when he worked counter-terrorism. She provides him with intelligence about who he is facing when he runs up against a new adversary. The film begins production mid-June in Boston.

Leo next stars in the Lee Daniels-directed The Butler, and in the final season of HBO’s Treme, with that series returning in late October. She was just cast in the Fox series Wayward Pines. Leo is represented by CAA and Untitled.