Leland Orser is set to reprise his role as Liam Neeson’s best friend Sam in Fox’s Taken 3. The film begins production at the end of March, with Taken and Taken 2 cast members Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen and Jon Gries also returning. Orser’s recent credits The Guest and the upcoming Faults as well as TV’s Magic City, Revolution and Touch. The actor, who next appears in Paramount’s remake of The Gambler with Mark Wahlberg and Brie Larson, is repped by Gersh and The Burstein Company.
Dan Bakkedahl has been cast in director Etan Cohen’s Get Hard for Warner Bros. When millionaire hedge fund manager James King (Will Ferrell) is nailed for fraud and bound for a stretch in San Quentin, the judge gives him 30 days to get his affairs in order. Desperate, he turns to Darnell Lewis (Kevin Hart) to prep him for a life behind bars. But despite James’ one-percenter assumptions, Darnell is a hard-working small business owner who has never received a parking ticket, let alone been to prison. Bakkedahl plays Rick, Ferrell’s hated frenemy at their office. He just booked a role in Fox’s Agent 47 and appeared in the 2013 comedy The Heat. He is a regular on the FXX comedy Legit, and TV credits also include Veep and Community. Bakkedahl is repped by Paradigm and Authentic Talent and Literary Management.
EXCLUSIVE: Famke Janssen has closed her deal to reprise her role in Taken 3, opposite Liam Neeson and Maggie Grace. Another film seemed a natural, since the franchise has done more than $600 million in global box office. Janssen has so far been limited to playing the helpless housewife, and I am not sure if it has occurred to the filmmakers at Europa, but Janssen has a very particular set of skills she has acquired over a very long career, skills that would make her a nightmare for the bad guys who show up in these movies. The Dutch actress first came to prominence as the femme fatale Xenia Onatopp in the James Bond film Goldeneye, as she was cracking guys’ spines like walnuts with her aerobicized thighs. As X-Men’s Phoenix, she nearly destroyed the world with her powers. Neeson’s got to be tired by now, so isn’t it time to give Janssen a chance to kick some ass? She will next be seen in Screen Gems’ A Fighting Man with James Caan and Louis Gossett Jr and Eli Roth’s Netflix series Hemlock Grove. She’s repped by CAA and Brookside Artist Management.
Maggie Grace is set to reprise her role in the third and final installment of the Taken movie franchise. Grace, who played star Liam Neeson’s daughter in the first two movies, is the first cast member with a deal in place to rejoin Neeson in the 20th Century Fox/EuropaCorp threequel, which eyes start of filming at the end of the month.
Related: 2014 CBS Pilots
Separately, Californication alumna Grace has been tapped as the female lead opposite Charlie Cox in CBS‘ untitled Wall Street drama pilot, executive produced by John Cusack. Set in the world of Wall Street power and money, the project centers Jackson (Cox), a smart, sophisticated, Wall Street hedge fund trader. Grace will play Jaime, a newly hired in-house legal counsel at the hedge fund who is smart, ambitious, savvy and has a conscience. The actress was able to close a deal after a lengthy negotiation that involved synching up the dates of the pilot and Taken 3. The pilot will be directed by Niels Arden Oplev from a script by Taylor Elmore and Ben Cavell based on a story the two co-wrote with Cusack and Kevin McCabe. Grace, repped by UTA, Wishlab and Jackoway Tyernan, will next be seen in the features We’ll Never Have Paris and About Alex.
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 »