Sony Pictures revealed that it wants the actor for the project in an announcement that it has extended its first-look deal with production company Escape Artists.
The adaptation of the '80s television show was one of the projects listed as being developed between the two companies.
"The project is being developed with Denzel Washington in mind to star and Alex Siskind is partnered with Escape Artists to produce," said Sony.
The Equalizer, which starred Edward Woodward as a secret-agent-turned-vigilante, initially ran on CBS for four seasons between September 1985 and August 1989.
Musicians including Adam Ant and the Beastie Boys Adam 'Ad-Rock' Horovitz made guest appearances in the show, as did Macaulay Culkin and Melissa Joan Hart.
Washington previously starred in the Escape Artists film The Taking of Pelham 123.
Russell Crowe was previously attached to the Equalizer role.
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