Antoine Fuqua is being sued by a former collaborator concerning a lack of compensation or credit for his alleged work as a consultant on “The Equalizer 3.” A complaint, which TheWrap has obtained, was filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday and seeks no less than $250,000 in damages.
Paul Lozada says he provided the production with a “treasure trove” of information that boosted the authenticity of the Denzel Washington-starring action franchise. That includes information about European organized crime, weapons and fight choreography. Lozada alleges that Fuqua promised him a position on the third installment. The plaintiff, a former San Francisco police officer, was previously listed as a consultant or advisor on “Tears of the Sun,” “Training Day” and “The Equalizer.”
The complaint alleges that Fuqua reached out to Lozada in May 2022 in relation to a possible television project before pivoting to a conversation about “The Equalizer 3.” Specifically, Fuqua allegedly stated that he wasn’t satisfied with the screenplay and requested some “real Italian Mafia inner workings” and asked Lozada to “gather all the information [he] could about this Italian Mafia Crime Group [Camorra].”
Upon hearing that the script was going through rewrites, Lozada says he went to work researching both the organization in question and the weapons that Washington’s character would use for the film. Lozada says he sent the filmmaker multiple reports concerning Italian organized crime, after which Fuqua asked for more. Lozada says he had dozens of conversations with the director. The filmmaker allegedly asked him to review the screenplay “with a fine-tooth comb and get back with his observations/thoughts.”
Lozada asserts that despite assurances that Fuqua’s production manager would call to discuss compensation, that never happened. The complaint alleges that, after being confronted about payment, Fuqua denied that Lozada contributed to the film.
Fuqua allegedly wrote an email that stated: “Not one thing in Equalizer had anything to do with you. Not one thing. You came to Rome, and I wanted you involved somehow. To help you. Not me.”
TheWrap has reached out to Fuqua’s representative and Sony for comment.
The Hollywood Reporter first reported the lawsuit.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.