Liam Neeson’s shift from solid drama actor to all-out action badass came rather late in his acting career. As this Friday sees the release of trilogy-closer, Taken 3, does this mean he might be heading for new waters? By the looks of his next project, the answer to that question is a resounding no. Just because Bryan Mills is retiring (we’ll see) doesn’t mean that Neeson has to relinquish his ass-kicking credentials, as he’ll be carrying on his action-packed antics in The Escapist.
A remake of Rupert Wyatt’s British thriller, Studio Canal are taking the reins on this Americanized take on The Escapist. It’s assumed that Neeson will tackle the role Brian Cox commandeered in the first movie, and it’ll be a change to see him dishing out orders while his lackeys do the heavy lifting.
In the 2009 original, Cox starred as a convicted criminal doing hard time in prison. Desperate to see his dying daughter, he recruits a crew to assist him in a prison break so he can reunite with her one last time.
The film failed to light up the critical radar or the box office, despite boasting a flashy cast that included Damian Lewis, Joseph Fiennes, Liam Cunningham, Dominic Cooper and Steven Mackintosh. Still, it proved Wyatt’s passion and prowess behind the camera. Not long after the filmmaker landed the Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes gig.
Circling back to the remake, no director has been confirmed but Wyatt is involved in a producer capacity with a script penned by Sean O’Keefe, who’s a hot up and comer in Hollywood. In addition to The Escapist, he’s also collaborating with Cold In July helmer Jim Mickle for Esperanza, has a project Riders In The Storm set up at Fox and has work underway on his Blacklist script The Paper Man. Bringing a fresh writing talent aboard could inject a dose of pep into The Escapist that was sorely lacking from the first version.