Liam Neeson Officially Back for Taken 2
03.17.11 by Ryan
Last June, Liam Neeson admitted he was going to meet with Taken producer Luc Besson to "hash out" plot details for a possible sequel to the 2009 thriller, which became a $226 million worldwide hit. A month ago, Neeson mentioned that Taken 2 was in script stages and could have Neeson himself be the one that is "taken."
So with Neeson seemingly in favor of the sequel, how is it that Neeson almost didn't reprise his role as retired government operative Bryan Mills?
Deadline reports that Neeson wants to take some time off, while Besson was hoping to shoot the sequel this year. Besson has teamed with Taken screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen on a script that the producer wants to shoot this year, possibly with Transporter 3 director Olivier Megaton at the helm (Pierre Morel directed the original). Neeson, meanwhile, has been working non-stop and was looking for a break.
With Neeson nearing a possible exit from the sequel Besson reportedly put together a list of possible replacements that included Mickey Rourke, Ralph Fiennes, Ray Winstone, Sean Bean and Jason Isaacs. Luckily, Taken 2 won't have to win over fans with a new lead in Neeson's place.
According to the report, Neeson and Besson have agreed on a timetable that will allow the actor to take time off after he finishes work on another sequel, Warner Bros.' Wrath of the Titans. Production on Taken 2 will begin at the end of the year or early 2012 and will reportedly be shot in Istanbul, Turkey.
Neeson can be seen next in a cameo in The Hangover 2, and in 2012 starting with Wrath of the Titans in March, Battleship in May, and possibly The Grey, which has finished shooting but is awaiting a release date.