Steven Spielberg might not be giving him much attention, but another famous filmmaker is rather more anxious to secure Liam Neeson’s services: John woo is thinking that Neeson is the perfect actor to star in his latest epic, bilingual 1940s aerial battle film Flying Tigers.
Woo is currently getting all the elements together and aiming to start pre-production on the $90 million film next month in China. While he’s hunting down some US studio financing and looking for the right cast, he has Neeson firmly in his sights: “It’s got to be a star but it’s hard to find the right one, because at that time Chennault was almost 50 years old. Ideally, I’ve been thinking of Liam Neeson as the title actor,” he tells the Hollywood Reporter.
So who is this Chennault? History lesson time! American Army Airman Lieutenant General Claire Le Chennault was the man who commanded the Flying Tigers, the squadron that trained the first generation of Chinese fighter pilots who took on the Japanese in World War Two. “Chennault really did a great job for China,” Woo says. “He really loved China. Older Chinese people really remember him, respect him and love him. No matter what kind of party was in power, they all liked him. Chennault worked with them all so well.”
And Woo also wants to shoot the thing in IMAX for maximum impact. Bet someone tries to talk him into 3D. He's been trying to get the movie made for a while now, after inheriting the concept from Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie.
Neeson is not near a deal yet, but his agents are the ones helping Woo put the film’s deals together, so we’re sure he’ll at least take a meeting. And after Woo got his mojo back with Red Cliff, who wouldn’t want to take to the skies for him?