EXCLUSIVE: Liam Neeson will star with Andrew Garfield and Ken Watanabe in Silence, the Martin Scorsese-directed adaptation of Shusaku Endo’s novel about 17th century Jesuits who to try bring Christianity to isolated Japan. The film is being financed by Emmett/Furla/Oasis, Corsan and A1. Emmett/Furla/Oasis just funded Lone Survivor. The script is by Jay Cocks and Scorsese and production will begin in Taiwan later this year.
Related: Martin Scorsese Tests Out Script For Mob Drama ‘The Irishman’, But ‘Silence’ Is His Next Pic
Neeson is scheduled to reprise in Taken 3, but while Neeson has remade himself as an action star, Silence brings him back to the kind of work he did in Schindler’s List and in the Scorsese-directed Gangs Of New York. The film is produced by Irwin Winkler, Randall Emmett and George Furla, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Checchi Gori, Barbara DeFina and Paul Breuls, with Niels Juul exec producing. Neeson, who next stars in the action film Non-Stop, voices a role in The Lego Movie, and stars in the Seth MacFarlane-directed A Million Ways To Die In The West and A Walk Among The Tombstones, is repped by CAA.
Related: Martin Scorsese Settles ‘Silence’ Suit
Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Olivier Megaton will be back in the director’s chair for Taken 3, the latest film in the action franchise hatched by Luc Besson‘s EuropaCorp. Megaton directed the second film in the series that’s been distributed by 20th Century Fox. While it’s likely that Fox will be on Taken 3, I understand negotiations are still underway. This will be Megaton’s next project with a start date I hear could be as early as March. In a new piece of casting, Deadline understands that Forest Whitaker is in talks to join Liam Neeson and other returning actors including Maggie Grace. Neeson stars as Bryan Mills, the retired CIA agent who used his brutal skills to track down his daughter after she was kidnapped in the first film, and who was himself taken hostage in the sequel. Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr reported last summer that Neeson was closing a deal in the vicinity of $20M to reprise his role as Mills. Neeson was a reluctant participant in the first sequel, but got paid in the $15M neighborhood. Read More »
Liam Neeson reunites with his Unknown director Jaume Collet-Serra to tap those particular set of skills again in Universal‘s Non-Stop. The actioner takes place aboard a transatlantic flight in which Neeson’s U.S. Air Marshal is hounded by an unknown text messager to … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Get ready for a third installment of Taken, the franchise launched by EuropaCorp’s Luc Besson and released by 20th Century Fox. I’m told that Liam Neeson is closing a deal in the vicinity of $20 million to reprise his role as Bryan Mills, the retired CIA agent who used his brutal skills after his daughter was kidnapped in France to be sold into sex slavery. Neeson was a reluctant participant in the first sequel but got paid in the $15 million neighborhood. Now I hear he’s getting another raise, and that EuropaCorp is planning to start production in February.
Next will come the effort to make deals with Maggie Grace, who played his daughter in the first two films, and Famke Janssen, who played his ex-wife. They have a script well in the works from Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, who teamed for the first two films. No director has yet been set, but don’t be surprised if Olivier Megaton comes back. He’s the Besson protege who directed the last film, which cost around $45 million and grossed over $376 million. The first film cost around $25 million and grossed over $226 million, with Pierre Morel directing. I thought the original film was vastly better than the sequel. But when the sequel does better than the original at the box office, and doesn’t cost that much more, of course they will try for the trifecta. The key has been getting Neeson. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Liam Neeson, Salma Hayek, John Krasinski, Frank Langella, Alfred Molina and Quvenzhané Wallis have all joined the voice cast of Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet, the animated feature film written and directed by Roger Allers, … Read More »
UPDATE, 2:40 PM: Universal just announced it is moving Non-Stop‘s release to February 28, 2014, a week later than its initial February 21 date. The new date pits Non-Stop against Paramount’s sci-fi pic Almanac. It would have gone up against Tri-Star’s action drama Pompeii … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Media Rights Capital has teamed up with its Ted partner Universal Pictures to co-finance Highwaymen, a drama about the Texas Rangers that hunted and gunned down Depression Era bank robbers Bonnie & Clyde. The film is coming together for a first quarter 2014 production start. John Lee Hancock will direct and Liam Neeson and Woody Harrelson are being courted to star. The John Fusco-scripted drama focuses on legendary lawman Frank Hamer, who was coaxed by a consortium of banks to assemble a posse and end the robbery reign of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow in the 1930s. Casey Silver is producing.
Hamer was an old style Texas Ranger who’d survived 100 gunfights and killed 53 people, and he focused on the duo after their gang organized a jail break and killed a guard. They’ve been talking about this feature for awhile, but they will most certainly come after a miniseries on the same subject by History and Lifetime that’s being directed by Bruce Beresford and has William Hurt playing Hamer. Read More »
Liam Neeson is already lending his voice to Warner Bros’ Lego: The Piece Of Resistance. Now the Oscar-nominated actor who brought Aslan to life in Disney and Fox’s Narnia pics is joining the voice cast of the indie animation The Nut Job, the first feature from Canadian-based ToonBox and Korea-based Redrover, in association with Warner Bros-based Gulfstream Pictures. Disney and Pixar veteran Peter Lepeniotis is directing the feature based on his own 1995 short Surly Squirrel from a script by Lorne Cameron (Brother Bear, Over The Hedge), about a mischievous squirrel who plots to rob a nut store with his rat friend Buddy.
Neeson will voice the villainous Raccoon in a cast that includes Katherine Heigl, Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Stephen Lang, Sarah Gadon, and comedian Jeff Dunham. Read More »
BREAKING: Warner Bros has locked Liam Neeson to star in the Brad Ingelsby action film Run All Night, and they are negotiating with Jaume Collet-Sera to direct. The studio is aiming for a fall start. While Neeson is getting to the age where you don’t want to run much anymore, he’s thriving as an action star, after Taken and its sequel, and it doesn’t look like he’ll stop running and kicking ass anytime soon. He plays a mob hitman who, in a single night, is forced to take on his former boss. The guy has to protect his son and family, and winds up on the run from the mob and the authorities with his estranged son. Neeson and Collet-Sera are currently shooting Non-Stop for Silver Pictures, and they’ve been eyeing this as a return match. They also teamed for the thriller Unknown. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Will Ferrell, Liam Neeson, Nick Offerman and Alison Brie have joined Warner Bros and Village Roadshow’s Lego feature film. They join Chris Pratt, … Read More »
I’m reading a THR piece reporting that Liam Neeson‘s Taken 2 paycheck is $10 million, up from the $1 million he received for the original. They’ve shortchanged the strapping Irishman on both counts. He’ll make more than double that when the film is done in worldwide theaters. I’ve heard Neeson got paid $12 million upfront for Taken 2, (he got $2 million for the first). And since that $12 million sequel paycheck was an advance against a comparable percentage of gross, Neeson stands to make a heckuva lot more for the special set of skills he possesses. The $45 million-budget sequel grossed $49.5 million in its opening weekend, and has already hit $117 million worldwide, according to Rentrak. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Emmett/Furla Films co-founders Randall Emmett & George Furla have acquired Fair Trade, an action thriller that had been developed by Alcon Entertainment as a potential vehicle for Liam Neeson. They want Neeson, and while it isn’t immediately clear if the actor will star, Emmett/Furla will finance the film for a summer start in Pittsburgh. The film is based on the Serbian thriller The Trap. Ericson Core (Invincible) is directing a script by Matt Aldrich. Emmett/Furla is in final negotiations with Open Road Films for domestic distribution. The Open Road team is here in Toronto unveiling one of the fest’s hot titles, End Of Watch. That David Ayer-directed film stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena. Read More »
In May, I reported that offers were going out to Liam Neeson and Olivia Wilde to star in Paul Haggis’ … Read More »
Taken 2 reteams Liam Neeson and producer/co-writer Luc Besson from the first pic, which earned $145M domestically and $226.8M globally for Fox when it burst on the scene in 2009. This one sees the bad guys come after Neeson’s family (daughter Maggie Grace and wife Famke Janssen) … Read More »
Liam Neeson is back as Bryan Mills, the man with a special set of lethal skills in Taken 2, and a trailer has been released overseas that shows no shortage of action. The first film, which recast Neeson as an action superstar, had a smart script by Luc Besson and … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Liam Neeson is set to star as Matt Scudder in A Walk Among the Tombstones, the Scott Frank-scripted adaptation of the Lawrence Block book series. Frank will direct his script. The movie will begin production February, 2013 in New … Read More »