Naked Gun Reboot With Liam Neeson Coming From Lonely Island's Akiva Schaffer

Nobody could possibly top the late comedy legend Leslie Nielsen and his performance in the classic 1988 film "The Naked Gun," but when has a little thing like that ever stopped this industry from trying anyway? With several recent legacy sequels and reboots proving successful at the box office in the post-pandemic landscape, Paramount is moving forward with yet another one of their own. Renowned among viewers of a certain vintage for its slapstick, laugh-a-minute joys that rival the likes of "Airplane!" (which, of course, also starred Nielsen) or "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," the original "The Naked Gun" is now being brought back with with actor Liam Neeson negotiating to star.

This news comes courtesy of Deadline, which reports that "The Lonely Island" veteran Akiva Schaffer ("Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping," "Saturday Night Live") is on board to direct the project (which is being billed as a "reboot," but may share connections with the original franchise) alongside screenwriters Dan Gregor and Doug Mand ("Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers"), both of whom are taking over for previous draft writers Mark Hentemann and Alec Sulkin. Though no plot details are forthcoming at the moment, Deadline indicates that Neeson may play the son of Nielsen's officer Frank Drebin as opposed to reinventing the role of Drebin himself.

Paramount moves forward with The Naked Gun reboot

For a change, there is something to see here and no need to disperse just yet. "The Naked Gun" and its follow-ups have stood tall as some of the best comedies in the last few decades, despite the franchise's beginnings as the poorly-rated ABC "Police Squad" series before being rebooted on the big screen with Nielsen in the same lead role. Yes, this essentially makes this new reimagining a reboot of a reboot, requiring a deft sense of self-awareness and comedy that makes Schaffer's involvement even more promising.

This news pays off almost a decade of rumors and false starts surrounding a possible continuation of "The Naked Gun." Actor Ed Helms may no longer be attached to this project, back when we heard that a potential remake would stray from the exact comedic tone of the original, but it does confirm the previously reported news that Seth MacFarlane emerged as a key creative force in making this collaboration with Neeson happen. (The two worked together on "A Million Ways to Die in the West.") Having crossed over to the comedy genre with increasing regularity in recent years, Neeson's late-career shift from action hero mode has culminated in the actor's bizarre and unexpected cameo as himself in an episode of "Atlanta." Meanwhile, the team behind "Rescue Rangers" went on to enjoy a victory for best television movie at the creative arts Emmy's, putting them in high demand.

Stay tuned for more updates as they come in.