Escape Artists sets project as it reups pact with studio

Sony Pictures Entertainment and Escape Artists are developing a bigscreen adaptation of 1980s television series “The Equalizer” with Denzel Washington attached to star.

Move comes as Escape Artists renewed its first-look pact with Sony for an additional three years, keeping the independent television and film shingle on the studio lot through 2015.

“Equalizer,” to be penned by Richard Wenk, revolves around a former secret agent who offers his investigative services in order to atone for his past sins. Series originally ran on CBS from 1985-89.

Headed by partners Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch, Escape Artists recently financed Sony pics “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3,” “Seven Pounds” and “The Pursuit of Happyness.”

“We have been partners with Todd, Jason and Steve for more than a decade, and we trust them implicitly for a simple reason: They have first-rate taste,” said Amy Pascal, co-chair of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

“As producers, you couldn’t ask for a more collaborative and smart studio crew,” the Escape Artists trio said in a statement.

Escape Artists has several projects in development, including the adult comedy “Sex Tape” with director Nicholas Stoller and Jason Segel attached, as well as “Masters of the Universe,” a Columbia Pictures project based on the popular Mattel toy line.

Company is also partnering with Mandate Pictures and Management 360 on upcoming pic ”The Great Hope Springs,” directed by David Frankel and starring Meryl Streep and Steve Carell.

“The Great Hope Springs” is set for release in December 2012.

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