Ah the power of the almighty dollar. Though Liam Neeson owes his current status as a go-to action star to the success of the 2008 thriller Taken, when the Olivier Megaton-directed sequel opened last year to rather negative reviews, the actor was dubious about returning for another installment of the franchise. However, Taken 2 brought in nearly $375 million worldwide against a modest budget, and so the studio parties that be were understandably high on the prospect of Taken 3. Now Neeson has had a change of heart, it would seem, as he is reportedly in talks to return for Taken 3 for a whopping $20 million payday. Hit the jump for more, including when the sequel might start filming.
Hot off the box office success of the “Liam Neeson kills everyone” sequel Taken 2, director Olivier Megaton is looking to stick to the action genre for his next feature. Per Deadline, Megaton will next direct the $60 million action thriller Taking Gotham for Emmett/Furla Films. Written by Thomas Kelly, the pic is based on a true story and centers on “a secret unit of the NYPD that was created in response to a string of brutal robberies in New York City. After a deadly sting operation, the elite unit is disavowed by the NYPD, forcing them to go deep underground in order to clear their names.” So it’s like Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, but set in New York and presumably much more “gritty.”
Megaton previously helmed the actioners Transporter 3 and Colombiana before landing the Taken 2 gig, and despite scathing reviews the Neeson-fronted sequel grossed over $350 million worldwide against a budget of just $45 million. As such, Megaton likely didn’t have to look hard to find his next project. Casting on Taking Gotham is set to begin immediately ahead of a March 2013 production start-date.
If you’ve followed the Top 5 for any amount of time you’ve probably already deduced that I like to use the opening paragraph in an anecdotal fashion. Whether I’m spinning a recap of my latest pop-culture excursions or using the latest wedding I’m attending as a gateway for complaining about the pop-culture excursions I’d rather be partaking of, I try and keep this space at least loosely based around entertainment. That said, this week is no different as I finally had the chance to sit down with writer/director David Ayer‘s End of Watch last night. I won’t do the film the disservice of reviewing it in two sentences, but I will say that I found Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña‘s chemistry to be excellent and the action to be consistently suspenseful/captivating. Is the script’s attempt to tie nearly every encounter the partner’s undertake into an interconnected climax a little bit of a stretch? I think so. Nevertheless, End of Watch is still a cop drama that pushes almost all of the right buttons.
But enough of my reviews in 100 words or less, in this week’s trek down memory lane is the first official image and trailer for A Good Day to Die Hard, Taken 2 interviews with Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen and more, a recap of all our James Bond / Skyfall coverage from the past week, Frankenweenie interviews with Tim Burton, Winona Ryder and more, and finally a look at some classic video games that we feel deserve an HD remake.
Opening this weekend is director Olivier Megaton‘s Taken 2. In the sequel, Liam Neeson’s character unwisely takes his family on a European vacation, only to find himself and his wife (Famke Janssen) taken hostage by the family members of the henchmen that Neeson brutally murdered in the first film. The film also stars Maggie Grace and Rade Serbedzija. For more on the film, here’s four clips and all our previous coverage.
Last week in New York City I got to sit down with Megaton for an extended video interview. We talked about how he came to direct the sequel, whether there were any sequences he struggled with, the running time, the first cut versus the final version, the editing process and dealing with the MPAA, future projects (which might include an adaptation of The Land of the Living), and Megaton revealed that the Taken 2 Blu-ray will include a longer cut of the film that’s unrated. Hit the jump to watch.
With director Olivier Megaton‘s Taken 2 opening October 5, 20th Century Fox has provided us with four clips. In the sequel, Liam Neeson’s character unwisely takes his family on a European vacation, only to find himself and his wife (Famke Janssen) taken hostage by the family members of the henchmen that Neeson brutally murdered in the first film. The film also stars Maggie Grace and Rade Serbedzija.
As a big fan of the first film, I’m looking forward to Neeson kicking some more ass in the sequel. Hit the jump to watch the clips.
Recently, Liam Neeson threatened you into submission so you would watch his new trailer for Taken 2. Then, the first featurette went online that showed off retired CIA operative Bryan Mills’ “skills and kills.” Today, we’ll continue the rhyming scheme with a new behind-the-scenes stunt featurette that highlights the sequel’s “thrills and spills.” Imagine my surprise when I found out Neeson wasn’t actually killing all the people in the movie. I still wouldn’t want to piss him off though.
Taken 2, from director Olivier Megaton, also stars Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace and Rade Serbedzija. The sequel hits theaters October 5th. Hit the jump to watch the new stunts clip.
A new “internet trailer” for the upcoming action sequel Taken 2 has been released. The clip is introduced by Liam Neeson himself who, sitting in a dark room, warns us interneters that if we don’t watch the trailer he’ll come for us and, naturally, he’ll find us. The trailer features quite a bit of new footage, and I’m starting to get the feeling that Taken 2 will be even more of a bloodbath than the first film. Neeson rampage seems to know no bounds, especially when you kidnap his wife.
Hit the jump to watch the new trailer. Directed by Olivier Megaton, the film also stars Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, and Rade Šerbedžija. Taken 2 opens on October 5th.
If these new images from Taken 2 didn’t do it for you, maybe seeing Liam Neeson in action in this new featurette will. The sequel, directed by Olivier Megaton (Colombiana), puts the Mills family in the crosshairs when they vacation in Istanbul and are taken by the father of one of the kidnappers from the first film. Mills (Neeson) hasn’t lost a step and now it looks like his wife, Lenore (Famke Janssen) and his daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace) are getting into the action a bit more. But Rade Šerbedžija proves to be a bit more formidable than the previous gang of faceless thugs. The film opens October 5th. Hit the jump to check out the new featurette.
A batch of new images from the “Liam Neeson kicks more ass” action sequel Taken 2 has gone online. In the follow-up, Neeson’s character unwisely takes his family on a European vacation, only to find himself and his wife (Famke Janssen) taken hostage by the family members of the random henchmen that Neeson brutally murdered in the first film. These new images unsurprisingly show Neeson being a badass, and we also get a few shots of Janssen and Maggie Grace running around. At least everyone’s getting some healthy cardio in whilst fleeing from scary guys with guns.
Hit the jump to check out the images. Directed by Olivier Megaton, Taken 2 opens on October 5th.
The first theatrical U.S. trailer for director Olivier Megaton‘s Taken 2 has gone online. The clip starts the same as the first international trailer, but the second half goes a bit more into the plot, sets up the tone of the film, and showcases some of the fighting (ie. Liam Neeson kicking ass). The story finds Neeson’s character as the target of revenge, as the family members of all those people he so swiftly murdered in the first pic are out for blood. I like the idea of escalation and the endless circle of violence being explored in the follow-up, with Rade Serbedzija’s villain character telling Neeson that if he kills him, Neeson will just have more people after him that he’ll have to kill too. It’d be nice to see his character wrestle with the consequences of his murderous streak, but I’m sure we’ll see plenty of badassness from Neeson as well. All in all, Taken 2 looks to be a damn good time.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film also stars Famke Janssen and Maggie Grace. Taken 2 opens on October 5th.
The first international trailer for Taken 2 has gone online. As the new trailer shows, Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) didn’t really think through the whole “going on a murderous rampage to save my daughter,”-thing and now the bad guys’ families want revenge. This time around, it’s Mills’ wife (Famke Janssen) who gets taken, so this gives license for Liam Neeson to play the badass yet again. I have absolutely no problem with that. I’m assuming the franchise can continue if future kidnapping victims include Mills’ cousin, gardener, paperboy, the guy he met at the supermarket that one time, and so forth. Finally, Taken 2 looks to continue the series’ message that foreign countries are the worst places affluent white people can go. Just visit Orlando, Florida. They have Disneyworld.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. The film also stars Maggie Grace and Rade Serbedzija. Taken 2 opens October 5th. [Update: We've added the international poster.]
Fox has found its foil to Liam Neeson for Taken 2. Serbian actor Rade Sherbedgia, a recognizable face who has had memorable turns in films like Batman Begins, Snatch, and Mission: Impossible II, will take on the role of Murad. Heat Vision reports that Murad is the father of a kidnapper who met his maker at the hands of Neeson in kick-ass mode during the first film. The plot from the first film is turned on its head this time around, as the story finds Neeson and his wife (Famke Janssen) being held hostage by Murad, forcing Neeson’s daughter (Maggie Grace) to rescue them. Olivier Megaton (Colombiana) is directing a script by producer Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen. Production is set to get underway later this month in Turkey and France. Taken 2 opens October 5th, 2012.
The trailer for the action-thriller Colombiana has gone online. Working from a script by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen (Taken), the film stars Zoe Saldana as woman who, after witnessing her parents’ murder as a child in Bogota, grows up to be a stone-cold assassin. While she works during the day as a hitwoman, at night she deals out vigilante justice in her quest to take down the mobsters responsible for the death of her parents. I like the idea of a female batman who uses a gun, but this may be the most generic action movie trailer I’ve ever seen. I’m a fan of Saldana so hopefully the movie has more personality and individually than the trailer.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. The film also stars Michael Vartan, Callum Blue, and Cliff Curtis. Colombiana opens September 2nd.
It looks like things aren’t going as smoothly as one would think in pulling together a sequel to the 2008 break-out hit Taken, starring Liam Neeson. Following the success of the French action-thriller, producer Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen (both wrote The Fifth Element) wrote a script for a sequel. Besson lined up his Transporter 3 director Olivier Megaton to helm the sequel, and everything was ready to go until they got to their lead actor.
Deadline reports that Neeson and Besson are at odds over when to film the flick. Neeson wants to take some time off (and deservedly so) and Besson wants to shoot the film this year. Apparently things got to the point where Besson assembled a short list of actors to replace Neeson that includes Mickey Rourke, Ralph Fiennes, Ray Winstone, Sean Bean and Jason Isaacs. While the report states that things started turning around for Neeson yesterday, he is by no means definitely returning. The plan now is to shoot in Istanbul later this year, while also giving Neeson the time off he needs. Given that the original grossed $227 million worldwide, it’s safe to assume that everyone involved is crossing their fingers for a smooth transition.
[Update: Well, now Deadline says that Besson and Neeson have worked things out and production on Taken 2 is scheduled to start sometime later this year or early 2012. So, nothing to see here. Move along. Move along.]
Zoe Saldana is in early talks to play the lead in the action-drama Columbia. Directed by Olivier Megaton (Transporter 3) from a script by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen (Taken), here’s how Heat Vision breaks down the plot:
“Columbiana” is set in Latin America and the U.S. Saldana would play a young woman who, after witnessing her parents’ murder as a child in Bogota, grows up to be a stone-cold assassin. She works for her uncle as a hitman by day, but her personal time is spent engaging in vigilante murders that she hopes will lead her to her ultimate target: the mobster responsible for her parents’ death.
Saldana recently co-starred in The Losers and Death at a Funeral and will next be seen in the crime-thriller Takers. The actress was in two of the biggest hits of last year with Star Trek and Avatar.