Last we heard, it was pencilled in for early 2012, but Luc Besson has just revealed that the sequel to 2007's scurrilous Taken will be bludgeoning its way before Olivier Megaton's cameras sooner rather than later. Shooting, in all senses, gets underway in October.
After some back and forth in which there was talk of replacing Liam Neeson with Sean Bean, Mickey Rourke, Ralph Fiennes, Ray Winstone or Jason Isaacs, Taken 2, with its original star intact, was officially announced back in March. Besson has once again written the script in cahoots with Robert Mark Kamen, and Megaton, who directed the Besson-produced Transporter 3 and Colombiana, will be taking over the reigns from Pierre Morel.
Besides Neeson, Besson has just told Coming Soon that "everyone is back" for Taken 2, including Famke Janssen as Neeson's estranged wife. He revealed that Megaton (typing that name just never gets old) has been scouting locations in Los Angeles, but said the production will only film there "for a little bit", suggesting that the narrative takes us on the road again. Back to terrifying, dangerous Europe? Or will Neeson be kicking ass elsewhere?
Since completing his atypical The Lady (the trailer for which arrived online yesterday), Besson says he and Kamen have already completed a further couple of screenplays, one of which is the "Fifth Element to the Power of Ten" that Besson revealed was in the works last autumn. He now says, mysteriously, that that's "not a real sci-fi; it's kind of an epic thing..."
The Lady will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival next month. Colombiana, starring Zoe Saldana, is out in the UK on September 9.