$20 million'll change just about anybody's tune, so it's little surprise that when that kind of mega-cash got waggled in front of Liam Neeson's face to entice another
display of his particular set of skills go at being "Taken," he stepped off of his previous I'm-Not-Gonna-Do-That platform with some pretty quick feet.
Yep, per Deadline, Neeson's been wrangled back into retired CIA operative Bryan Mills' luckless shoes for "Taken 3," earning a $5 million pay raise for the third installment after "Taken 2" abducted $376 million smackers out of the worldwide box office last winter.
The 61-year-old action hero had previously dismissed chatter about another potential follow-up to the wildly successful little 2008 film engine that could, telling journos in February that he didn't think there would be a third round of international kidnappery because, as he said, "She can't get taken again. That's just bad parenting."
Indeed, she — meaning, Maggie Grace as his daughter who was snatched and sold into Albanian sex slavery in movie one — was not the victim du jour in the sequel; rather, it was Neeson's Bryan and his ex-wife, portrayed by Famke Janssen, who had to escape the clutches of the bad guys for the second iteration... Still, he does have a point: Where does it go from here without being ridiculous?
Couple of thoughts, if we may. Movie two did end with the introduction of the virginal daughter's new boyfriend (Luke Grimes) to the dinner table. The idea of Neeson's protective daddy persona shooting the poor chap rose in jest, but it wouldn't be surprising to find he started cleaning the pistols out promptly after dessert, would it? Also, there was that whole marital riff business going down between ex-wifey-poo and her suspiciously absent husband (Xander Berkeley). Smells like fodder for another Euro-chaser installment to us.
The script is currently being developed by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, with negotiations for the return of Grace and Janssen on deck next. Deadline suspects a potential return of "Taken 2" director Olivier Megaton to the helm as well.