Well, that was fast. Last week, while speaking to the press, actor turned action star Liam Neeson (essentially) said thanks but no thanks to the possibility of a “Taken 3” film. Then “Taken 2” was released on Friday and came up with a impressive $50 million in its opening weekend (double the opening figure of the original), proving that audiences still love aging dads that will find you, kill you and then fuck you up if you mess with their wives and daughters.
We then kind of presumed the blockbuster opening of the “Taken” sequel (“Tooken” was a suggested title we liked that film producers, sadly, never used) might change Neeson’s mind. After all, this new “action phase” of Neeson’s career (the crucial lead roles of “The Grey,” “Unknown,” “Taken” and “Taken 2”) amounts to a worldwide gross just shy of $500 million collectively (and this doesn’t include “The A-Team,” “Battleship” and “Clash Of The Titans“). So has Neeson changed his mind?
It’s unclear if the actor has, but according to “Taken 2” writer Robert Mark Kamen (“The Karate Kid“), the studio very much wants to move forward.
“We didn’t start talking about [Taken 3] until we saw the numbers,” Kamen told Hollywood.com this week. “But then we said, ‘Oh, okay. I think we should do a third one.’ And Fox wants us to do a third one.” Hmm, ok, but where will the film go? Who will get kidnapped considering the daughter (Maggie Grace) was nabbed in “Taken,” and the lead character and his wife (Famke Janssen) were snatched in the sequel? Who will get taken? “We’ve taken everyone we can take — it’s going to go in another direction,” the writer said, hopefully ironically, about all the people that got took. “[It] should be interesting.”
It should, shouldn’t it? We would have hoped the same about “Taken 2.” Our review said, “There’s diminishing returns, and then there’s ‘Taken 2,’ the next, and probably last installment of the ‘Taken’ franchise.” Oh, how wrong we were. Of course, a script needs an official greenlight and likely Neeson’s stamp of approval, but that seems to come rather easily these days. See you in theaters probably late 2013. After all, it can’t take long to write one of these things, right?