Two sequel shoot dates have cropped up in the last 24 hours. The first is for Taken 2, which Luc Besson told ComingSoon will shoot in October. Director Olivier Megaton has “everyone back for the sequel,” including Famke Janssen, says Besson. Which means that Taken 2 is going to be about Liam Neeson fighting the reanimated corpses of all the people he killed in the first movie, I suppose. (If one wants to read ComingSoon’s paraphrasing literally.) I’d see that movie.

After the break, we’ve got the possibly bigger news: The Wolverine is now likely to push back to a Spring 2012 start date, to accommodate both Japanese weather and Hugh Jackman‘s schedule making Les Miserables. Read More »

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Luc Besson‘s latest film makes quite a break from what we’ve come to expect from the writer/director/producer thanks to a decade of making mostly cheap, visceral action films. The Lady stars Michelle Yeoh as Burmese revolutionary leader Aung San Suu Kyi — this is a real-life story of political oppression and resistance. The first teaser trailer, which shows Yeoh in character taking the stage in front of a throng of wildly cheering supporters, has just dropped. Along with it comes the film’s first poster, designed by Shepard Fairey, based on his design featuring the real Aung San Suu Kyi. See both below. Read More »

If you’re more interested in the typical fall slate of festival entrees than summer’s glut of tentpole action fare, this is a great week. The Toronto International Film Festival announced the first wave of films that will play the fest in September. This is a batch of about 50 titles, which makes up only a small chunk of the programming. Usually TIFF features between two and three hundred films. But these are some of the highest-profile entries.

Below you’ll find rundowns on the new films from George Clooney, Bennett Miller, Jay & Mark Duplass, Todd Solondz, Francis Ford Coppola, Cameron Crowe, Sarah Polley, Fernando Meirelles, Lars von Trier, Marc Forster, Steve McQueen, Alexander Payne, and Lynne Ramsay. No announcement yet of the Midnight Madness programming choices, always some of my faves, but this is a great start. Read More »

Briefly: Cinemax’s TV version of The Transporter took a big step this week when the two leads were cast. Chris Vance, perhaps best known in the states for roles on Prison Break, Dexter and Burn Notice, is the new ‘professional transporter’ Frank Martin, played in three big-screen outings by Jason Statham. And Andrea Osvart will play Carla, his handler, “an extremely crafty former CIA operative who organizes his missions, acts as his eyes and ears on the outside, and continually stokes the flames of their unrequited attraction.”

More interesting is that the same stunt team that did the Transporter films will be working on the series. So while the show might not have the budget of the films, it might at least be able to approximate the action. Luc Besson produces the series, which is set for 12 episodes at this point. It will shoot this summer and then hit Cinemax next year. [EW, Deadline]

Olivier Megaton is set to direct Taken 2, but before that his movie Colombiana will be in theaters. The assassin/revenge film stars Zoe Saldana and is cut more from the La Femme Nikita and The Professional mold than the Taken template. Luc Besson‘s fingerprints are all over this one, and no wonder, given that he co-wrote with Robert Mark Kamen. Check out the trailer after the jump. Read More »

Maggie Grace Confirmed for ‘Taken 2′

Briefly: The big drama surrounding Taken 2 was whether or not Liam Neeson would, in fact, return to be a badass former CIA agent whose daughter was once kidnapped. No one has really voiced much thought about the return of Maggie Grace, who played the object of Taken‘s title in the first place. But Deadline now confirms that Ms. Grace has finalized a deal to reprise her role as the daughter of Liam Neeson’s character. How does she fit into the story? Please just let us find out that she is kidnapped again; I want an entire series of these films in which Maggie Grace is kidnapped, leading to a My Dinner With Andre-style final sequel/coda where her character and Jack Bauer’s daughter sit down to vent and angrily tear apart lobsters at a fancy restaurant for 90 minutes.

Olivier Megaton, who has a name that is as badass as Liam Neeson’s character, will direct this sequel. He has already worked with producer Luc Besson more than once, most recently when he directed The Transporter 3. (Remember, too, that Maggie Grace is also in the ‘Taken in space’ movie Lockout, with Guy Pearce.)

We have the first image from A Monster in Paris, the Luc Besson-produced, Eric “Bibo” Bergeron-directed animated film due out in France later this year. Although posters and concept art for the movie have made the rounds before, this seems to be the first picture from the movie itself. The plot revolves around a monster terrorizing early 20th century Paris, and the locals who band together to stop him. But, as you might guess from the image, the monster isn’t exactly what he seems to be. See for yourself after the jump.

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This one just came out of nowhere. For the past few months there had been word that Luc Besson might be planning a new epic romance or a massive sci-fi film. But now he’s shooting The Lady, which is a film about Burmese democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Michelle Yeoh plays the cultural heroine, who opposed military rule in Burma and spent much of the past twenty years under house arrest as a result. David Thewlis plays her husband, Michael Aris. That’s the first image from the film, above, and there are more after the break. Read More »

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