Liam Neeson has a particular set of skills, foremost among them being the ability to make crappy, derivative movies watchable. But of course this story isn’t about those! It’s about Neeson signing on for Taken 3, which is sure to be an art film of groundbreaking auteurship and the most avante of gardliness. (*overturns rainstick*)
I’m told that Liam Neeson is closing a deal in the vicinity of $20 million to reprise his role as Bryan Mills, the retired CIA agent who used his brutal skills after his daughter was kidnapped in France to be sold into sex slavery. Neeson was a reluctant participant in the first sequel but got paid in the $15 million neighborhood. Now I hear he’s getting another raise, and that EuropaCorp is planning to start production in February.
Next will come the effort to make deals with Maggie Grace, who played his daughter in the first two films, and Famke Janssen, who played his ex-wife. They have a script well in the works from Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, who teamed for the first two films. No director has yet been set, but don’t be surprised if Olivier Megaton comes back. He’s the Besson protege who directed the last film, which cost around $45 million and grossed over $376 million. The first film cost around $25 million and grossed over $226 million, with Pierre Morel directing.
Of course this is an exciting moment for everyone, but especially Maggie Grace’s parents. She really won the crappy movie sweepstakes. The Paul Walker Bad Actor Lottery, as I like to call it.
Here’s Liam Neeson talking about punching a kid who pulled a knife on him back when he was a teacher from last year. It just goes to show: real-life Liam Neeson > Movie Liam Neeson. He’s like a reverse Chuck Norris.