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.