He’s 69 years old, but he’s still not quite done showing us his special sets of skills. Liam Neeson has an action thriller coming early next year, and thanks to a new report we know when it’s going to hit theaters.
According to Deadline, Liam Neeson’s next action movie is Blacklight, directed by Mark Williams, who collaborated with Neeson last year on the action thriller Honest Thief. Neeson plays Travis Block, an FBI “fixer” tasked with saving undercover operatives when things go sideways. When one of the agents Block is supposed to save begins questioning the government, the hero finds himself neck-deep in a far-reaching conspiracy. Blacklight will be released in 2,000 theaters across the US on February 11, 2022.
Precious few other details have been released about Liam Neeson’s next film, though Tim Draxl (A Few Best Men) is set to play Drew Hawthorne, possibly the agent who asks too many questions. Blacklight‘s IMDb page lists Claire van der Boom (The Square) as Amanda Block, presumably Travis Block’s wife. They’ll be joined by Mel Jarnson (Mortal Kombat) as Sofia Flores, Georgia Flood (Anzac Girls) as Pearl, and Andrew Shaw (Home and Away) as Jordan Lockhart.
Mark Williams is a relative newcomer to the director’s chair and the critics have yet to be wooed by his work. His directorial debut — the drama A Family Man (aka The Headhunter’s Calling) starring Gerard Butler — earned an absolutely cringeworthy 14% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Last year’s Honest Thief, starring Liam Neeson as a former military man turned master thief, got a 40% score. However, regardless of what the critics had to say, Honest Thief wound up hitting the #1 box office spot two weeks in a row — eventually knocked down to second place in its third weekend by the Gillian Jacobs (Community) horror flick Come Play. In October 2020, with the COVID-19 pandemic raging, butts in seats meant a lot more than critical acclaim.
For a while, it looked like Liam Neeson’s time in the sun was long over. While promoting the 2019 action thriller Cold Pursuit, as reported by the BBC, Neeson admitted that years beforehand — after learning a woman he knew was sexually assaulted by a Black man — he had hoped to get the opportunity to kill a Black man (not the woman’s alleged attacker, but any Black man) in retaliation.
Regardless, Liam Neeson has proven to be a big draw during the pandemic. Like with Honest Thief, Neeson’s turn as a sniper in this year’s The Marksman held the #1 box office spot for two weeks in a row. While his time as a trucker in The Ice Road never saw the inside of a theater, it didn’t take long for the movie to hit #1 on Netflix.
Ironically, if there’s one takeaway from Liam Neeson’s success over the past couple of years, it’s that maybe we really shouldn’t believe Liam Neeson. Earlier this year, the actor promised he was ready to retire. After Blacklight, Neeson has at least four more movies on the way, and at least two of those — Memory and Retribution — are action thrillers. Clearly Neeson’s advancing years are slowing him down just as much as they’re slowing down Harrison Ford.