Before stepping foot on the icy hills of Everest, actor Clive Standen carved out a career in period dramas, be it Camelot or History’s acclaimed Vikings series, where he plays the role of Rollo. That’s all about to change now that The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that Standen will headline NBC’s upcoming Taken prequel series, stepping into the shoes of a young Liam Neeson.
Chronicling the formative years of Neeson’s hardboiled super agent Bryan Mills, the network’s high-profile offshoot will document Mills’ first foray into the CIA, and how he accrued that particular set of skills in the first place.
A prequel at its core, Luc Besson – director behind the 2008 sleeper hit – is attached to executive producer NBC’s straight-to-series project. Alexander Cary of Homeland fame will pen the script and executive produce opposite Besson. Producing duties will be leveraged between Matthew Gross, Edouard de Vesinne and Thomas Anargyros, while Alex Graves (The West Wing, Game of Thrones) will direct the pilot.
Not only does Taken join an ever-growing list of television series to be spun out of feature films, it’ll be the third of Besson’s movies to get the treatment following La Femme Nikita and Transporter. Beyond that, Training Day, 12 Monkeys and Minority Report have each made the jump to the small screen with varying degrees of success – in fact, it wasn’t too long ago that the latter was canned.
As for Taken, with Standen locked for the star role, NBC will be hoping to fire its prequel series into the crowded fall corridor later this year.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter