EXCLUSIVE: Ashton Sanders, the middle of the three actors who played the lead character in Barry Jenkins’ Best Picture Oscar winner Moonlight, has just landed another major gig. He has been set for a lead role in Sony’s The Equalizer 2, which reteams star Denzel Washington and director Antoine Fuqua.

Moonlight
A24

Washington’s Robert McCall will be a father figure to Sanders’ character in the sequel, which begins production next month in Boston and has a September 14, 2018, release date. No other plot details yet, but Melissa Leo and Bill Pullman also are back from the 2014 film, and Pedro Pascal is aboard as the baddie. Richard Wenk wrote the script, and Jason Blumenthal, Todd Black, Washington, Steve Tisch, Mace Neufeld, Alex Siskin and Tony Eldridge are producers.

It’s the second major pic for Sanders since Moonlight stormed to eight Oscar noms and three wins including the marquee Best Pic. He has wrapped starring in Captive State for Rupert Wyatt and Focus Features. That Amblin and Participant pic has an August 2018 release date.

Sanders is repped by Hyperion Talent Agency, the Savage Agency and the ESI Network.