Belfast Telegraph

Taken now triggers a TV series

By Brian O'Reilly and Chris McCullough

As if three movies weren't enough - fans are going to get a whole lot more of Bryan Mills.

Thanks to the success of the Taken films starring Liam Neeson, a series of TV shows based on them are now heading to the small screen.

NBC has ordered a series of shows for TV, basing them on a prequel adaptation of the popular franchise.

However, Neeson fans will be disappointed to hear the Ballymena actor won't be involved in the TV shows, at least in the early stages.

The Taken TV thrillers, being produced by Luc Besson, who wrote the original movies, will follow Neeson's Bryan Mills character in his younger days when he had no wife and kids.

The first will focus on how Mills acquired his expert set of skills which audiences across the world are familiar with from the movies. Fans of the Taken films heard Neeson say in the first one: "What I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career; skills that make me a nightmare for people like you."

Taken premiered in 2008 and was a surprise box office hit, resulting in two sequels in 2012 and 2014.

The movies have reinvented Neeson as an action star and the trilogy has earned almost £1bn worldwide.

A search for a writer and showrunner for the TV series is currently under way.

The shows will be a co-production between Besson's studio, EuropaCorp, and Universal TV and has been ordered as a straight-to-series commission by NBC. Meanwhile, the Ballymena-born actor is keeping as busy as ever.

He recently wrapped production on Silence for Paramount and A Monster Calls for Focus Features.

He is now being lined up to star in new action comedy film The Revenger.

He is also set to be the voice of God when he joins director Richard Curtis to help promote the United Nations' Global Goals campaign.

Curtis has helped create a cinema ad narrated by Neeson that will be shown in cinemas in more than 30 countries.

The film, produced by Wallace and Gromit animators Aardman and featuring a llama, is designed to spread the word about the UN's goals to eradicate poverty and injustice across the world.

Belfast Telegraph


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