EXCLUSIVE: As he prepares to re-team with Denzel Washington in The Equalizer 2, Antoine Fuqua has signed his Fuqua Films to a first-look deal with the Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group. The deal starts with The Equalizer 2, which starts production in the fall and will be released September 14, 2018.

Fuqua will bring into the Sony fold several of his percolating projects, including what he hopes will be his follow-up directing project. He has long wanted to make a film about Fred Hampton, the Black Panthers revolutionary who headed the Illinois chapter of the BPP and was deputy chairman of the national organization. Hampton was assassinated while sleeping at his apartment during a raid by the Chicago Police Department and FBI in December 1969, with his death later ruled a justifiable homicide. Chris Smith has written a script, based on the Jeffrey Haas’ book The Assassination Of Fred Hampton: How The FBI And The Chicago Police Murdered A Black Panther.

Sony Pictures

Fuqua’s most recent directed films are Southpaw and the Sony releases The Magnificent Seven and the first Equalizer. He has also been busy building Fuqua Films as a generator of feature and television content. That includes a deal he made recently to direct a multi-part documentary about Muhammad Ali for HBO, exec producing with LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s SpringHill Entertainment. He also exec produced the TV transfer of his breakthrough film Training Day, as well as Ice and Shooter.

In confirming the deal, Columbia Pictures president Sanford Panitch called Fuqua “simply cool. He is the definition of a modern filmmaker who has mastered the mix of visual dramatic storytelling and strong characters. He makes films that are meant to be seen in movie theaters. We couldn’t be happier to work with him next on The Equalizer 2 – the first sequel that either he or Denzel has ever made.”

Said Fuqua: “I started my feature film career almost 20 years ago at Columbia. Since then some of my biggest career achievements have been with the studio. I am proud of our work together and am very much looking forward to this new collaboration and our upcoming creative endeavors.”

Fuqua is repped by CAA.