Besson has been putting together the sequel to the hit ex-CIA agent vs. the French Underworld drama, and he’s currently talking to Best Last Name Ever Award Winner Olivier Megaton (Transporter 3) about directing it. However, Besson wants to shoot Taken 2 this year, while forgettable Jedi Neeson wants to take the year off for personal reasons. Can you do a sequel without the lead from the original? Besson is willing to try: his list of possible replacements to play Bryan Mills (or a character very, very similar) includes Ralph Fiennes, Mickey Rourke, and Jason Isaacs.
Faced with replacing Neeson with “The Ram,” Besson recently went back to Neeson and the two are currently trying to work out a shooting schedule for late this year, but nothing is confirmed yet. (Deadline)
UPDATE: My hostage plan worked, I assume. Liam Neeson just officially signed on for Taken 2. Neeson will get some time off before dealing with more stuff getting taken – the sequel starts filming late 2011 / early 2012.