In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, scriptwriter Robert Mark Kamen (who wrote the three Transporter movies, the three Karate Kid movies and The Fifth Element, amongst others) has been talking about the the next assignments on the table for the French “action factory” Mediacorp. And among the projects mentioned, two of them were a sequel to the surprise smash-hit Taken and an English language remake of the French free-running flick District 13 (or to use it’s French title, Banlieue 13).
Now not much was said beyond Taken 2 being in the development stage (although it’s very early on I’d imagine), and the American remake of District 13 being crafted by Kamen. But since it was mentioned it’s worth pondering: Does Taken need a sequel? And does District 13 need to be in English?
Let’s start with Taken.
Taken is a film I was not a fan of, not because I thought the action was sub-par or anything like that (actually if it was in another movie I would’ve loved it) but simply because of the morally bankrupt piece that it was. I won’t go into that in-depth but let’s just say morals were nowhere to be seen when that was supposed to be the whole point of why Liam Neeson’s character was doing what he was going.
But clearly I am in the minority (for example, Screen Rant head honcho Vic really liked the film). It was a smash-hit not just in the UK and Europe but in a fickle movie market like the US. It’s still playing in places in the States and already it has grossed over $180 million worldwide – just think how rare that is for the type of film Taken is. I see nothing so drastically different in it that should allow it to make such money.
But clearly because of this fact they’re obviously going to at least think about making another one. However setting aside my grievances with the film, I don’t think it needs a sequel. The whole point of the first one was about this guy who goes forcefully after the people who kidnap his daughter – it’s a one shot that doesn’t warrant a sequel. I’m pretty sure he’s not going to allow that to happen to his daughter again, and if he did wouldn’t it just be a clone of the first film as far as plot goes?
I could (at a stretch) see a prequel, since outside of the kidnap story of his daughter, the character’s background has potential for some major kick-ass scenes.
Now as far as an English language remake of District 13 goes I am actually all for it. Although the first one feels very French in how it was shot and all that, the type of action flick that it was lends itself very well to the American style of action. American action movies are all about the over-the-top “that would never happen in real life” stuff and I think English language audiences would really respond to it.
However it should be noted that there’s already a sequel to the original been made (click here for the trailer), so perhaps it’s best to wait a couple of years before they remake it into English.
What do you think of the notions of both a sequel to Taken and an English language remake of District 13?