Taken truly cemented Liam Neeson’s newfound status as an action hero onscreen, and was a sleeper box office hit in its own right. That film’s basic setup (a quest to rescue a loved one from danger) is a tried-and-true formula which will be used once again in the upcoming thriller Gone, starring Amanda Seyfried.

Three more stars – Wes Bentley (American Beauty), Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter), and Emily Wickersham (I Am Number Four) – are now signed on for the film, which is slated to begin shooting next month.

Here is the basic synopsis for Gone:

“When Jill Parrish (Seyfried) returns home from the night shift to find her sister’s bed empty, she is convinced that the serial killer who kidnapped her two years before has come back to finish the job. But the police do not believe her and Jill knows time is running out. With no one to turn to, Jill sets off to find her sister and face her abductor once and for all.”

Variety confirms that Gone is being directed by Brazilian filmmaker Heitor Dhalia, who most recently helmed the little-seen drama Adrift, with Black Swan‘s Vincent Cassel. Allison Burnett penned the Gone screenplay, her second in the serial killer crime thriller genre, following the 2008 Diane Lane vehicle Untraceable. Take all that as you will.

Seyfried found success as the charming leading lady in light-hearted romantic fare like Mamma Mia! and Letters to Juliet, but she’s arguably better known for edgier material – be it Mean Girls, Jennifer’s Body, or this week’s Gothic fairy tale re-telling, Red Riding Hood. She has solid screen presence and tends to shine through, even when the films around her are subpar at best – so her involvement in upcoming thrillers like Gone and Now is a plus (in my book, at least).

Working against Gone is the fact that none of the individuals working behind the cameras are all that well accomplished, and, as mentioned previously, the plot reads as being pretty generic. The bulk of the film’s success will rest on Seyfried’s shoulders, since she’ll have to rise to the occasion (both on and off-screen) as a captivating figure on a dangerous mission whom moviegoers can root for. Neeson managed that task in Taken, but things will be trickier for Seyfried in Gone – if only because her character probably won’t be pummeling criminals to a bloody pulp with her bare fists.

Gone is tentatively scheduled to hit theaters in 2012.

Source: Variety