Liam Neeson To Lead Naked Gun Reboot
Liam Neeson is in negotiations to star in a Naked Gun reboot with Akiva Schaffer directing.
The Police Squad is set to investigate a new case once negotiations for its lead actor are finalized, Deadline reports. Liam Neeson is in talks with Paramount Pictures to star in a new Naked Gun movie, and so far, the prospect is looking positive. The reboot will be directed by Akiva Schaffer of Lonely Island fame, with Seth McFarlane among its producers, and a script written by Dan Gregor and Doug Mand.
All these factors are like planets aligning. Gregor and Mand have just come from the Emmy-winning success of their Chip and Dale: Rescue Rangers script, which found appeal among adults as well as kids. Their script for a Naked Gun reboot is based on a previous treatment by Mark Hentemann and Alec Sulkin.
Since Naked Gun is also comedy that is largely intended for a family audience, the writers and director have an obvious background to work with. Seth McFarlane’s interest in the project is also a strong endorsement. McFarlane is known for comedy shows like Family Guy, American Dad, and The Orville.
To many, Liam Neeson seems like too serious an actor for a Naked Gun movie. The star is known for action movies such as the Taken series and his role as Qi-Gong Jin in the Star Wars prequels and associated series. His first major film role was in the sexy and gory 1981 John Boorman film Excalibur, in which he portrayed Sir Gawain, a Knight of the Round Table.
Leslie Nielsen starred in the original Naked Gun movies as well as the television series that inspired them, Police Squad! Nielsen himself was known for dramatic roles on television as far back as 1950 but reinvented himself through comedic roles such as Frank Drebin, the lead investigator in Naked Gun. Nielsen died in 2010, prompting studios to evaluate how to reboot the series, but until now, no stories had been seriously considered.
No plot details have yet been released other than indications that Liam Neeson will be playing the son of the original Naked Gun character. Frank Drebin is known for his deadpan seriousness while oblivious to the chaos around him, bumbling through his cases as the straight man to the comedy surrounding him. Liam Neeson has certainly demonstrated that he can perform the seriousness of a Drebin character but can he do slapstick with the kind of aplomb that made Leslie Nielsen so appealing?
Liam Neeson’s enthusiasm for a Naked Gun reboot could easily be credited to his work with Seth McFarlane. Hidden among the dramatic and action films in Liam Neeson’s filmography are voice acting roles on The Simpsons and Nut Job as well as appearances in McFarlane’s shows Family Guy and The Orville. The two have a good relationship and Liam Neeson’s response was positive when McFarlane approached him with the idea.
The movie joins a myriad of 80s reboots in recent years, including Ghostbusters, Top Gun, and even Roadhouse. Some reboots were highly criticized as nostalgia while others, such as Top Gun: Maverick, have been hits at the box office. With a team like the one being assembled behind Liam Neeson for a Naked Gun reboot, it seems likely that this project will join the hits.