Not done flexing his particular set of skills in three Hollywood blockbusters, ex-agent and super-dad Bryan Mills (originally played by Liam Neeson) is set to revive his covert career in a TV spin-off/prequel, with major network NBC placing a straight-to-series order.
With the Taken films having revelled in stunt-work and engrossing hand-to-hand combat, it is possible that the adaptation will set a grittier, refreshing tone for television following the series’ first entry back in 2008.
It is also possible that the show will be indistinguishable from any number of other action-heavy romps, with the added bonus of the name to give it credence.
Set today (despite being a prequel), the series will showcase a younger version of Mills, probably operating as a CIA agent who may or may not at some point in the series meet Lenore (Famke Janssen) and together have a child who will grow up to get kidnapped and revive Liam Neeson’s career as an action star.
The show’s success will largely depend on the casting – who will play the young Liam Neeson? Emerging Australian talent Sullivan Stapleton would be an ideal choice, if he wasn’t too busy with new series Blindspot. Game of Thrones star Kit Harrington, with his role on the Emmy-winning series having come to an abrupt halt, might also be looking to distinguish himself from his oft-quoted alter-ego. Everest star Sam Worthington may also be seeking an opportunity to flex his action muscles following his turns in the Titans films, if he can find time between filming the threeAvatar sequels, and Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge, currently shooting in Sydney.
The name Taken already being used for a popular TV series in 2002, it is unclear if the producers will keep the brand-recognition or go for something a little less familiar but still related to the series. “I don’t know who are you” is always an option, as is “I will find you,” or if the creators are feeling a little more adventurous, “Mills and Boom” hasn’t been taken.
Taken is not the only film success to be adapted for television, with series based on Minority Report and Limitless premiering this week and a Rush Hour adaptation expected soon. The prequel will be eagerly anticipated amongst fans of the original film (and the few fans of the sequels), with Taken co-writer Luc Besson set to executive produce and full details of the cast and premiere date still to be revealed.
As for the possibly new talent to be cast as Mills, we don’t know who you are, but rest assured, NBC will find you.