Liam Neeson in Talks to Star in Paramount’s ‘Naked Gun’ Reboot, Akiva Schaffer to Direct

Seth MacFarlane and Akiva Schaffer are officially courting Liam Neeson for Paramount’s “Naked Gun” remake. The “Taken” actor is in talks to lead the modern version of the ’80s slapstick film, Variety confirms.

Schaffer, the “Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers” filmmaker, and Lonely Island member, will direct and executive produce the movie. Schaffer penned the screenplay with “Chip ‘n Dale” writers Dan Gregor and Doug Mand. MacFarlane and Erica Huggins are producing through their company Fuzzy Door.

Neeson sparked chatter online about reviving the ’80s comedy earlier this year, telling “People (The TV Show)” that McFarlane and Paramount had been pursuing him to resurrect the “Naked Gun” films. However, the actor has still yet to sign on the dotted line.

“It’ll either finish my career or bring it in another direction. I honestly don’t know,” Neeson told “People (The TV Show)”.

Paramount’s original “Naked Gun” trilogy starred Leslie Nielsen as Franklin “Frank” Drebin, a good-hearted yet gullible detective at the center of a police procedural parody.

The 1988 movie “The Naked Gun: From the Files of a Police Squad” was a critical and commercial smash, earning positive reviews and $140 million at the box office to match.

Given its popularity, the studio shepherded two sequels, 1991’s “The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear” and 1994’s “Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult,” to financial success.

Paramount has been attempting to return to the series since 2013. It was first being rebooted with Ed Helms as Frank Drebin, but that version eventually fell apart.

In early 2021, McFarlane announced he had been hired to retool the film. Exact plot details, as well as a production timeline and a release date, are currently unknown. It’s also unclear who Neeson would play in the film.

Neeson, the modern-day patron saint of action movies, recently portrayed a government agent in “Blacklight.” The 70-year-old Irish actor has starred in a surprising number of action-thrillers during the pandemic alone, including “Honest Thief,” “The Marksman,” “The Ice Road” and “Memory.”

Neeson has appeared in blockbuster movies like Steven Spielberg’s 1993 film “Schindler’s List,” “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace” and “Batman Begins,” though he’s perhaps most closely associated with the “Taken” trilogy, in which he played a retired CIA operative with a particular set of skills.

Schaffer is represented by UTA and attorneys Johnson Shapiro Slewett & Kole. Gregor and Mand are represented by UTA and Kaplan/Perrone.


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