Almost three years ago, Warner Bros commissioned a screenplay for the Training Day prequel from Black List literary talent Nick Yarborough, taking the reins from scribe-turned-director David Ayer. Safe to say, anyone who’d been banking on seeing another follow-up to Antoine Fuqua’s 2001 Academy Award-winning crime drama starring Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke would’ve likely lost hope between now and then. Thankfully, radio silence has been broken as this very prequel moves forward and locks in an official title: Training Day – Day of the Riots.
The status update was brought to attention after California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the SB144 bill, effectively granting US$330 million / AU$454.5 million of tax credits to the film and television industry; on top of the US$330 million / AU$454.5 million the state has already granted to Hollywood, as noted by /Film. Warner Bros, of course, plated up a US$16.2 million slice of the pie, US$9.1 million / AU$12.5 million of which is being kicked towards Training Day – Day of the Riots.
As previously reported by Jeff Sneider of Collider, the prequel will take place nearly a decade prior to the events of the first film in late April of 1992 – that’s two days before the Rodney King verdict was delivered. Los Angeles was already a “powder keg just waiting to explode” that week, and the decision to let the LAPD officers responsible for his beating walk free was the very fuse that sparked the infamous LA riots.
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Day of the Riots will centre upon a younger version of the crooked LAPD narcotics detective, Alonzo Harris, originally portrayed by Denzel Washington and arguably his most iconic role to date. Washington would earn his first Academy Award for Best Actor thanks to Training Day and his second golden statuette in total after Glory (Best Supporting Actor as Private Sias Trip).
Unfortunately – and for glaring age-related reasons – neither Denzel Washington nor Ethan Hawke is attached to this project, although there are rumours that the former’s son and Tenet star John David Washington is in discussion to portray young Detective Alonzo Harris. Here’s to hoping…
And I know what you’re thinking. After ravaging the legacy of two beloved IPs in The Sopranos (The Many Saints of Newark) and The Matrix (Resurrections) so recently, Warner Bros is understandably still in the doghouse. Fuel has only been added to the bonfire when you consider the original cast members, director Antoine Fuqua, screenwriter David Ayer aren’t even involved.
Plus, it doesn’t help the stench of the failed CBS Training Day series starring Bill Paxton and Justin Cromwell is still lingering about… despite premiering almost half a decade ago back in 2017. But we’re holding out for the hope something special hits theatres in the coming years.
According to Deadline, at one stage, there was an idea to make the aforementioned series produced by the legendary Jerry Bruckheimer (Top Gun, Remember The Titans, Black Hawk Down) a “true sequel” 15 years after the events of Antoine Fuqua’s Training Day featuring the surviving main characters like Ethan Hawke’s rookie LAPD officer Jake Hoyt. This obviously never came into fruition once negotiations with Hawke fell apart, although the fact such an idea did entice him to begin with indicates seeds of potential still exist within the established mythology.
Keep an eye out here for all the relevant updates on the forthcoming Training Day prequel Day of the Riots – casting details, release date, trailer, etc.