Forest Whitaker in Out of the Furnace

Although Liam Neeson initially seemed completely disinterested in Taken 3, he eventually came around after a bit of soul-searching and an offer for $20 million. Now the other pieces of the puzzle are falling into place around him.

Olivier Megaton will return to direct the third installment of the thriller franchise, while Forest Whitaker could join Neeson in front of the camera. More details after the jump.

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Full ‘Taken 2′ Domestic Trailer

Just in case his small appearance in a certain superhero movie this summer left you wanting more Liam Neeson action, here’s the first full domestic trailer for Olivier Megaton‘s Taken 2.

The title should tell you just about everything you need to know about the plot, but just in case: Neeson, and his wife and daughter (Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace) are menaced by relatives of some of the guys Neeson’s character killed in Taken. There’s a kidnapping (again), followed by a lot of violence (again) and some very pretty shots of Istanbul. Because even with a lot of bad guys to kill, one has to make time for sight-seeing.

Check out the trailer below. Read More »

The US marketing hasn’t really kicked into gear yet, but maybe you saw the first international trailer for Taken 2, which puts Liam Neeson in conflict with some guys who are pretty angry about all the stuff Neeson did when his daughter was kidnapped a while back. The old guy and his fam (Maggie Grace and Famke Janssen) are in Istanbul, where they’re targeted by the father (Rade Sherbedgia) of one of the guys Neeson killed in Taken.

This trailer gives away a big part of the plot setup that wasn’t shown in the last trailer. In fact, the last trailer deliberately obscured it. It’s something that we’ve known to some extent for a while, and something that will end up in the US trailers eventually, so I wouldn’t call it a big spoiler. But if all you know of Taken 2 is what was in the last trailer, then this will have a small surprise. Check out the trailer below. Read More »

First Look: ‘Taken 2′

20th Century Fox has finally released the first photos from Taken 2. Director Olivier Megaton‘s (Colombiana, Transporter 3) follow-up takes a twist on the original as Maggie Grace must help rescue Liam Neeson‘s character Bryan Mills after “associates of the villains he killed the first time around decide to get their revenge.” I saw some early footage at CinemaCon and it looked much better than it sounds (for example, Grace’s character isn’t turned into a complete badass Sarah Conner-type, and fun is had with her inabilities). Hit the jump to check out the first photos from the action sequel, along with a quote from Neeson.

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With Saoirse Ronan already locked in for Andrew Niccol‘s The Host, the search is on for two handsome young lads to play the male leads. Jake Abel has just been selected for the part of Ian, beating out several competitors including Dane DeHaan (The Place Beyond the Pines), Thomas McDonnell (Prom), and Augustus Prew (Charlie St. Cloud). Abel, who’s still negotiating his deal, has worked with Ronan once previously on Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones. More recently, he’s also starred in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and I Am Number Four.

Based on a novel by Stephenie Meyer, The Host revolves around a woman named Melanie (Ronan) whose body is possessed by an alien parasite named Wanderer. Ian is a human who initially attacks Wanderer, but eventually falls in love with her. The other major mail character, that of Melanie’s boyfriend Jared, is still being cast; Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games), Kit Harrington (Game of Thrones), Jai Courtney (One Shot), and Max Irons (Red Riding Hood) are among the contenders for that part. [Deadline]

After the jump, Taken 2 adds another newcomer and Rose McGowan gets some company in Napa.

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Along with Fox’s reveal of the name and release date for the fifth, mostly unwanted Die Hard movie, the studio today added a bunch of other films to the calendar for 2012 and 2013. We begin with Olivier Megaton‘s sequel to Taken. The Liam Neeson action movie is currently called Taken 2, and it will open just under a year from now, on October 5, 2012.

The following month is busy for Fox: Curtis Hanson‘s surfing dram about real-life surfer Jay Moriarty, formerly called Mavericks, will co out on October 26 2012 as Of Men and Mavericks. And Parental Guidance, starring Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, and Marisa Tomei, will open on November 21, 2012.

Then a couple dates have hit for 2013: the second Percy Jackson film, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters will now hit on March 27 2013. And the BBC co-production Walking with Dinosaurs, which brings the popular show and traveling animatronic dinosaur exhibit to screens in 3D, moves up to October 11, 2013, from December 20, 2013. [BoxOfficeMojo]

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 »

One franchise moves forward and another moves backwards in this edition of Sequel Bits. 20th Century Fox, who released the surprise 2009 hit Taken, has just signed on to distribute its sequel, Taken 2, which will once again star Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace and be directed by Olivier Megaton (Transporter 3, the upcoming Colombiana, whose trailer came out today).

Also Mario Puzo, who not only wrote the novel that was the basis for the The Godfather films, but won Oscars along with Francis Ford Coppola for their screenplays, apparently wrote an unproduced prequel script to the series called The Family Corleone. Instead of making it into a movie though (thank god) it’ll soon be turned into a novel due out in stores next year. Read more about both of these projects after the break. Read More »

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