Liam Neeson in Final Talks for ‘Taken 2′

Published 3 years ago by , Updated February 10th, 2012 at 12:07 pm,

liam neeson back for taken 2 Liam Neeson in Final Talks for Taken 2

Though Taken wasn’t a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination, it was a very watchable film, thanks in large part to Liam Neeson’s fantastic performance as retired CIA agent Bryan Mills, a man desperately trying to find his kidnapped daughter.

In fact, I’m of the firm belief that if you take Neeson out of the equation, the film is just a run-of-the-mill, action picture. Fortunately, despite some initial reluctance on his part, Neeson is in final talks to join Taken 2, likely to be directed by Olivier Megaton.

According to Deadline, up until yesterday there was some question as to whether or not Liam Neeson would be returning for the sequel at all. Since his wife’s tragic death, Neeson has thrown himself into film project after film project, from Clash of the Titans to The A-Team to Unknown (not to mention the upcoming Battleship and The Grey).

As such, Neeson wanted some much warranted time off for the remainder of 2011, but producer Luc Besson (Leon: The Professional, Fifth Element) wanted to begin shooting this year – so much so that he even compiled a list of replacement actors if talks with Neeson fell through. That list included Sean Bean, Ralph Fiennes, Jason Isaacs, Mickey Rourke, and Ray Winstone. All fine actors, to be sure, and ones I wouldn’t mind seeing in old man revenge flicks of their own…but certainly not Taken 2.

Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed, and late last night Luc Besson and Liam Neeson came to an agreement: Neeson would get his year off, and production will begin either at the very end of 2011 or the beginning of 2012.

luc bessons taken starring liam neeson Liam Neeson in Final Talks for Taken 2

So, good news all around, save for the possible fact that Besson is in talks to hire Olivier Megaton, director of the abysmal Transporter 3, to helm the film. Hopefully, Besson knows something we don’t – maybe Megaton’s Colombiana, starring Zoe Saldana, is good enough to warrant the director’s job for the sequel to Taken.

Are you happy to see Liam Neeson return to the role that I affectionately refer to as “Old Man Bourne with a Cooler Voice”? Let us know in the comments.

Taken 2, written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, may or may not start shooting by the end of this year.

Source: Deadline

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TAGS: taken 2

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  1. Like you, I enjoyed Taken because of Neeson and can’t see anyone else in the role. He’s just so much better than the roles that he gets lately.

    • I agree completely with both of those points. I couldn’t imagine the first Taken without Neeson. He was awesome in it.

  2. Why doesn’t Besson just come out of whatever directing rock he’s been under and take the reigns on this one himself.

  3. I don’t know about this. In my opinion Taken was the very definition of a stand alone movie. Any sequel would have to be exceptional stuff to make it worth while.

    • I agree. It’s the quintessential “come out of retirement on a personal vendetta to kick some ass” or something like that. What’s he gonna do now, come out of retirement…again? Forgive me for my lack of imagination but while I love Besson’s work, am pretty fond of Taken, just don’t want (or do we need) another one. Kind of like I don’t want another Big Trouble in Little China. One and done, and put in the kick ass classics section:)

      • As with both yourself (and Garythebra before you), I can’t wrap my braincells around a reason for a sequel…we can’t have him coming out of retirement again; it’ll look too much like The KISS Farewell Tour that never said the final goodbye.

        • The only way I can genuinely see this sequel working is if it works as a prequel: ie., we get to see how he worked as a “preventor”, mission assignments, being away from his daughter etc. etc. Either that, or Jean-Claude decides to get revenge himself, by having his daughter re-kidnapped. I dunno.

  4. “I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.”

    There aren’t many people who can sound so threatening when on phone!

    I am really torn. Taken was possibly the greatest action movie of the previous decade, and part of me would love to see Neeson beating the hell out of scum once again but… I worry about the contrived type of situation they would have to invent to have Bryan use his “skills” again.

    • Ya Sam doing the same thing in a different formula for a sequel would make for a bad rehash of its predecessor.

  5. I agree with Garythebra. What would a sequel even be about?

    • yeahh been wonderin bout that

  6. Liam Neeson is one of the finest actors in Hollywood and to be able to tackle nearly any complex role that tailors to all age groups at his age is a fantastic exposition of his talent. Liam Neeson changed my mind about Taken after watching his performance in it and Taken 2 will be exactly the same.

  7. “Though Taken wasn’t a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination”

    TAKE IT BACK.

    • Amen. It’s my favorite movie! Anyone who thought it was a regular action movie missed the impossibly obvious — Neeson’s character does EVIL SH*T and is unapologetic about it. He’s going to get his daughter back and he’ll be damned if he’s going to let morality get in the way. He tortures and kills indiscriminately because he’s saving his God-damned daughter and anyone who gets in his way had better f*cking understand that. And yet, he remains a good guy. Anyone who doesn’t connect deeply with that character has no soul. I’m not even a father, I can’t imagine what it would be like to watch this movie if I were.

  8. Loved the first one, and Liam Neeson is one of the greatest actors alive(in my book at least :) )
    Any way, I think it would be better if this was a prequel instead of a sequel, that way you could see him when he was a CIA Agent. Then you would have a better chance of coming up with a better story. I just don’t see what else they could do after the first one.

  9. they could just use the title and base it about someone else with similar traits to brian (neeson’s character). like they did with john ceena’s marine… only alot better ;)

  10. Maybe this time Holly Valances pop princess character kidnaps his daughter to take her on tour.
    Neesons character then has to come out of retirement again to take on the music industry. He cuts his bloody swathe of vengeance through roadies, backing singers & dance choreographers before an explosive climax on the set of American Idol where he finally has to take Simon Cowell one on one:-)

  11. I loved “Taken”, and would love to see Neeson do all the “Takens” he can stand, as long as the story and action live up to the original. There’s no reason the story needs to be about him “coming out of retirement” again. He’s already out of retirement now. Maybe the sequel involves him continuing to work with his old gang, who gets themselves into a big mess. His partners weren’t played by no-name actors, so I think it’s possible the studio was considering bringing them back from the start. As long as they don’t feel the urge to do something as stupid as having his daughter get kidnapped again, I don’t see why another story would be out of line. Nobody questions how John McLane manages to keep getting caught up in wacky situations every few years. Why not Bryan Mills?

    • Well, weren’t Die Hard 1 and Die Hard 2 just the same film set in different locations?

      • Not only that, but the person in charge of set design & all for DH2 royally screwed up; how else to explain that the payphones in Dulles (located in Washington, D.C., which is on the EASTERN Seaboard) have the PACIFIC Bell logo and name on them?

  12. i feel that maybe liam neeson is coming to terms with the passing of his wife. take it from a woman who has lost her own husband 11 years ago to cancer that it is very hard to start your life over again. i know all did was just went back to work after the passing of my husband. so i understand what liam neeson is going through with all that has happend.and if he trying to slow down alitte bit than i think he should. i never had any childeren of my own but liam does and maybe he wants to spend more time with them

  13. The only actor that i could possibly see doing this role would be Sean Beam. I think he is awesome too and has the accent/deep voice like Neeson so what do you guys think about Sean Beam ?

    As far as the plot: Well let’s see:The Albanians are hired by Jean-Claude partner up and come to the US to get revenge on Brian and take his daughter again. When Brian shot Jean-Claude’s wife maybe she died from it and that is where the revenge factor comes in.This time Brian’s friends come in and help him as the Albanians take the girl back to France and 2nd time around is harder to find her which will make the movie more intense and separate it in a unique way from the first one.

    After they get her back Brian gets back with his exwife.

    Anyone care to comment please ?

    Thanks

    • ActuaLLy, it’s Sean BEAN; BEAM is usually the name of a popular brand of bourbon whiskey, as in Jim Beam.

      • Thank you (danlister)im sorry about that you are right well what do you think about him and what would you do for the new plot Kim kidnapped again ? Albanians coming back to US ?

        Thanks again

        • YES to anything with Liam Neeson, NO to rehashing the plot of Taken; think Airplane II, you’ll get my drift.

  14. If anyone wants to contact me and email/talk about this please let me know thanks.

  15. If you plan on making Taken II without Liam Neeson, don’t waste your time.