Posted on Monday, March 17th, 2014 by Russ Fischer
“Are you the Liam Neesons from Tooken?” That’s a good one-line joke when it’s used by Key and Peele, who have built a few really fun comedy sketches about a pair of valet attendants who literally explode in delight when talking about films starring Liam Neeson. Now two other guys — who seem to have no relation to Keegan Michael Key or Jordan Peele — are filming their own Taken spoof Tooken. That’s probably not a coincidence, is it?
Deadline reports that Cameron Van Hoy and John Asher have scripted Tooken, and Asher will direct. Van Hoy was actually part of another Taken spoof, the short film Taken 3: Back to Normal, which suggests that this project will be the realization of his dreams of a feature-length Taken spoof. (His twitter feed confirms this.)
Problem is, the name “Tooken” is already taken. Maybe these two have had the Tooken idea for years. Perhaps they were flogging it around town relentlessly before the Key and Peele sketch hit. Could be that this script is really funny. But Key and Peele put it on screen first, and so it’s difficult to see this on its own terms. People have the same basic idea all the time, and dealing with it when someone else beats you to the punch is part of the game.
Meanwhile there’s also the new Tina Fey project also called Tooken, which will star Ellie Kemper and Tituss Burgess in a comic story about a woman (Kemper) who escapes a doomsday cult and goes to live in NYC. That’s got a 13-episode order from NBC, and the peacock has a very capable team of lawyers which could squash this effort before it has a chance to grow.
Still, casting is going on now for the Naked Gun-style spoof, with plans to shoot this summer.