Liam Neeson Taking Over The Biggest Crime Parody Series In Anticipated Reboot

By Matthew Flynn | Published

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Liam Neeson is set to take center stage in the much-anticipated reboot of the comedy classic Naked Gun. Slated to premiere on July 18, 2025, the upcoming Paramount project will see the celebrated actor slipping into the shoes of Frank Drebin, the hilariously deadpan, often oblivious character immortalized by the late Leslie Nielsen.

The Naked Gun

Originating from a story crafted by comedic filmmakers Zucker, Abrahams, and Zucker, the Naked Gun franchise kicked off with the 1982 television series Police Squad! starring Leslie Nielsen as the charismatic Detective Sergeant Franklin “Frank” Drebin in the role now going to Liam Neeson. Despite its early cancellation, Police Squad!  was a cult hit and established the comedic tone and characters that would later feature in the successful Naked Gun films.

From Television To The Movies

The film series launched in 1988 with The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!, an adventure that sees Detective Frank Drebin thwarting an assassination attempt on Queen Elizabeth II. Two subsequent sequels, The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear in 1991 and Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult in 1994, continued the comedic exploits of Frank Drebin to box office success. The franchise even ventured into the gaming realm with the 2012 video game The Naked Gun: ICUP.

An Award-Winning Team

Liam Neeson joins the yet-to-be-named project, which will be guided under the vision of executive producer Akiva Schaffer and produced by Seth MacFarlane and Erica Huggins through their company, Fuzzy Door. The production company is best known for producing Family Guy, American Dad!, and The Orville, among others. Schaffer co-wrote the script with Dan Gregor and Doug Mand, reuniting the team that brought that won an Emmy for Outstanding Television Movie for their Disney+ reboot, Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers.

Another Career Shift For Liam Neeson

Liam Neeson’s venture into comedy bears striking parallels to Nielsen’s career path. Much like Nielsen, Neeson started his journey in the world of acting with somber and serious roles. His portrayal of Oskar Schindler in Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. He later launched into pop culture stardom with roles such as Qui-Gon Jinn in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, Ra’s al Ghul in Batman Begins, and Aslan in The Chronicles of Narnia trilogy.

In addition to his Academy Award nomination, Liam Neeson has won three Golden Globes, two Tony Awards, and a BAAFTA Awards. His career accomplishments earned him an appointment to the Office of the Order of the British Empire.

Leslie Nielson’s Pivot To Comedy

Nielsen, on the other hand, after delivering noted performances in Forbidden Planet and The Poseidon Adventure, found his unique comic niche in the ’80s and ’90s. His comedic roles, particularly his stellar performance in Airplane! and the original Naked Gun film series, proved his adeptness in portraying characters blissfully unaware of their absurd surroundings, making him beloved to generations of audiences.

What Can’t Liam Neeson Do?

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Liam Neeson’s venture into comedic roles with this Naked Gun reboot may just be the beginning of another impressive career phase reminiscent of Nielsen’s successful transition. At the very least, it gives lovers of slapstick comedy something to look forward to next summer.