The NBC network has ordered the Taken prequel, based on the action films starring seasoned actor Liam Neeson, straight to series. According to TVLine, the network has forgone the normal route of pilot orders, set to bring the story of a young Bryan Mills to the small screen. Luc Besson, who co-wrote the original Taken movie script and the two sequels, will serve as an executive producer on the series alongside Matthew Gross, Edouard de Vesinne, and Thomas Anargyros, all of EuropaCorp. The Taken prequel has yet to find a writer and director.
The series will center around Mills — prior to having a wife and daughter — exploring how the agent acquired and honed his expert skills. As reported by Variety, the logline pays homage to Taken‘s famous quote: “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.”
As Taken fans know best, the film’s first installment hit theaters in 2008, starring Neeson, Maggie Grace (The Choice, Susanna) and Famke Janssen (Hemlock Grove, X-Men). Neeson starred as a former government operative whose daughter is abducted by sex slavers. With just days to find her and rescue her from being auctioned off, Neeson’s character saves the day with his black ops skills.
The film was a box office hit, making more than $200 million in global sales, per Box Office Mojo. Due to the film’s success, the studio followed up with two additional installments, released in 2012 and 2014. Liam Neeson, at this point, is not involved in the Taken prequel. But that could change, as more and more film stars are making their way to the small screen for brief guest stints in TV land. An air date or casting details have yet to be announced by NBC.
The Taken prequel joins a round of movie inspired projects headed to TV. The CBS network will roll out a Limitless TV series, based on the film of the same name starring Bradley Cooper, this week while Fox is bringing the Minority Report to their slate. Meanwhile, the Notebook is in the works at CW.
Since wrapping up his role in the Taken trilogy, Neeson has gone on to appear in a string in films that include the forthcoming release A Monsters Calls, Entourage, Ted 2, Run All Night and A Christmas Star.
[Photo by Mike Pont / FilmMagic]