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 »
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.)
UPDATE: Moments after publishing this, I saw that Deadline had updated the source story completely changing it. In the original piece below I suspected that the first story published at Deadline was a way to push forward a deal between Liam Neeson and the producers of Taken 2. Whether or not that was the intent, such a thing is now happening. So everything below, ninety minutes after Deadline first reported it, is now a non-issue. The actor and producers have worked things out and a shoot for late this year or early 2012 is now being scheduled. Original article follows.
After Taken proved to be a wild, unexpected hit, it didn’t take long for talk to begin of Taken 2. Liam Neeson has said that he was definitely ready to do the film, and a script has been under way. But now there is a big wrinkle: the actor is reportedly pulling away from the film, which producer and co-writer Luc Besson wants to shoot this year. The actor, meanwhile, wants to take some time off. It could be stalemate, but Luc Besson may just go ahead with the film, with a different actor in the central role. Read More »
Narnia fans know that when Aslan speaks, you listen. And Aslan the lion, voiced by Liam Neeson in the upcoming The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, is currently doing a lot of speaking. Neeson, out promoting his new film, has confirmed that he’ll start shooting a sequel to Clash of the Titans called Wrath of the Titans in March and that, eventually, we’ll see Taken 2. Would you like to know more? Read More »
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Taken was a small film that was picked up by Fox, essentially dumped and then became a massive surprise hit anyway. Sometimes you just can’t predict how these things are going to go. (Taken was big enough that its January release window is, for the time being, the ‘Taken date,’ which will be occupied next year by Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire, formerly Knockout.)
No surprise, then, that a sequel is being considered. The possible follow-up is something that we might see Liam Neeson make within the next year or so, and he and writer/producer Luc Besson are working to come up with a story that will fly. Read More »
Mediacorp scriptmeister Robert Mark Kamen has been telling the Los Angeles Times all about his next assignments for the big French action factory, and both of the films they namedrop are seemingly inevitable responses to the studio’s past glories.
Besides a sequel to Taken, the sleeper hit of the year (so far), Kamen is also crafting the screenplay for a US set rehash of Banlieue 13 – or District B13 as it was already renamed in English speaking territories. The original took an American paradigm – Escape From New York, essentially – and gave it such a specifically French spin that, frankly, I don’t know what sort of mess we’ll end up with after it gets spun back the other way.
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