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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Thursday morning at CinemaCon, 20th Century Fox presented footage, clips and trailers from their upcoming 2012 line-up. Included in the reel was 10-15 minutes of Ang Lee‘s adaptation Life of Pi, an extended trailer for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, new footage from Prometheus, clips from  Neighborhood Watch, and our first look at Taken 2. Per usual, I recorded a video blog after the presentation with Alex from FirstShowing and Frosty from Collider. We give our reactions to the footage without spoilers or in depth descriptions. Watch the video blog now embedded after the jump.

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Every time I think the whole back-and-forth about Bill Murray and Ghostbusters 3 is finally drawing to a close, somehow it comes roaring back again. This time, Murray is the one who’s not ruling out the possibility, however small, of his involvement. Also after the jump:

  • Photos from Expendables 2, MIB3, and G.I. Joe
  • A revealing new pic of Spock in Star Trek 2
  • Maggie Grace talks about Taken 2, again

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The sequel news just keeps on here in another edition of Sequel Bits, the place where, with once click, you can read all of the latest updates on properties with multiple entries. After the jump, you can read about:

  • Marc Webb says that Peter Parker’s untold origin in The Amazing Spider-Man will span several movies.
  • Ridley Scott goes on a mini-tirade regarding Prometheus, the MPAA and Hollywood box-office
  • Maggie Grace describes her character in Taken 2.
  • A new commercial for Disney XD’s Tron: Uprising has been revealed.

So much for Beetlejuice being a reboot and not a remake. Now writer Seth Grahame-Smith it’s not a reboot either, but a straight-up sequel. Also after the jump:

  • Madagascar 3 gets a cute new poster to go with its cute new trailer
  • There’s a teaser for the upcoming teaser for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II
  • Maggie Grace talks Taken 2 and not fixing things that aren’t broken
  • Warwick Davis does not want a Leprechaun remake, but he has an idea for a sequel

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Lots of sequel news today so let’s get right to it. After the jump, read about the following:

  • Shawn Levy gives an update on a sequel to Real Steel.
  • There’s already been talk of a third Ghost Rider according to directors Neveldine and Taylor, who are also still considering Crank 3D.
  • Latino Review has revealed some major plot points in Taken 2.
  • Fox is still moving ahead with a Waiting to Exhale sequel after the death of Whitney Houston.
  • Steven Spielberg says Peter Jackson will be starting production on The Adventures of Tintin 2 this year.

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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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The nominal news here is that Rade Sherbedgia will play the bad guy in Taken 2, which brings Liam Neeson and Maggie Grace back to the action fold under the brand name that made Fox a surprisingly large amount of money in 2009.

But the real news is that, along with that casting announcement, trades have revealed the plot of the film. It isn’t quite what I expected. According to one account, Taken 2 sounds like a full reversal of the original film. I suspect there’s some exaggeration there, but it still isn’t sounding great. Read the details below and see if you agree. Read More »

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]

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

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 »