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.
Per Deadline, Neeson is currently in negotiations to reprise his role as Bryan Mills in Taken 3 with a salary in the vicinity of $20 million. That’s a significant raise from the $15 million that Neeson was paid for Taken 2, a pic that Neeson was also initially reluctant to make. Apparently Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen are already well underway on writing the script, and deals will now be attempted with Maggie Grace and Famke Janssen to return with an eye towards starting production in February. A director has yet to be set, but Deadline says “don’t be surprised” if Taken 2 helmer Megaton steps behind the camera again.
Neeson has a number of projects coming up in the near future, as he recently re-teamed with Unknown director Jaume Collet-Serra on the airplane thriller Non-Stop and he stars in Scott Frank’s thriller A Walk Among the Tombstones. He also has a role in Paul Haggis’ dramatic ensemble Third Person, voices a character in The Lego Movie, and appears in Seth MacFarlane’s Western comedy A Million Ways to Die in the West.