Exclusive: Taken 4 In Development With Liam Neeson
In the latest Giant Freakin Robot exclusive, Taken 4 is currently in development with Liam Neeson returning to the role of Bryan Mills
It used to be that when someone would hit 70 years old they were probably well into retirement, living life playing shuffleboard and eating dinner at 3:30 in the afternoon. But those days are long gone. A perfect example of how much things have shifted in our world is Liam Neeson. He’s pushing up against his seventh decade on this earth and about to star in another action movie for the franchise that marked a major career shift. In the latest Giant Freakin Robot exclusive from our trusted and proven source, Liam Neeson is set to star in Taken 4 with yet another mission to save someone who’s been, well, taken.
While there are few details on how Taken 4 will shake out, it doesn’t take a student of film to make some logical guesses around what the plot will look like. We are almost sure to get another story in the life of Bryan Mills, the ex-CIA operative who’s most definitely had a rough few years ever since his daughter took a fateful trip to France and got kidnapped by a group of human traffickers. From there it’s been pretty much a rollercoaster of kidnappings, framings, and killings spread out over the first three films. Creatively, Luc Besson wrote all three of the first films, producing as well. Pierre Morel directed Taken with Olivier Megaton helming the second and third.
And at this point, the expectation for a Taken 4 is that it will speak and market to its core audience which doesn’t exactly include the love of critics. The first three films were overwhelming box office hits considering the production costs, totaling nearly a billion dollars in ticket receipts when it was all said and done. That was done on roughly a (total) $118 million budget, and you can see why the studio wouldn’t mind getting another of these films before it was all said and done.
Critically? Not so much. Taken did fine mostly as a surprise, somewhat out of nowhere, hit earning it a respectable 59% on Rotten Tomatoes thanks to its fast pace and Neeson’s stoic and deadly demeanor. The subsequent films went 22% and 13% respectively, owing to weaker scripts and the shine mostly off the concept. Liam Neeson had reinvented his career with the first movie, but the novelty had worn off at that point. Can Taken 4 revive things on that front? I wouldn’t expect it, but again, that’s not really the point.
A planned Taken 4 would and should continue a run of films that have seen Liam Neeson become a late-career action star which started with the first film in this franchise. Once he was established as a dude with a very particular set of skills; skills he had acquired over a very long career, Neeson went on to star in other flicks like The Commuter, Run All Night, Non-Stop, The Grey, Cold Pursuit, The Ice Road, The Marksman, Honest Thief, and Blacklight. All were of the higher-intensity variety and all stemming from what he showed he could do in Taken.
It will be great to get him back as Bryan Mills in Taken 4. Could this be where the late-career run ultimately comes full circle? It might and it would have all been well worth it.