Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Liam Neeson Agreed To Taken 3 Under One Condition

Liam Neeson had some action pedigree courtesy of some roles in notable blockbusters like "Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace" and "Batman Begins." However, his full ascent into action hero stardom didn't occur until he showed the world his particular set of skills in 2008's "Taken." From that point forward, Neeson became synonymous with gritty action-thrillers, many of which could be viewed as "Taken" knockoffs, like "Unknown," "Non-Stop," and "Run All Night."

It even launched its own franchise with two sequels and a short-lived television series. It's not too shabby for an action flick that mostly sees Neeson's character Bryan Mills hopping around the globe looking for more bad guys to punch. When it came time for the first sequel, "Taken 2," the formula remained similar, only this time, Bryan Mills and his ex-wife are the ones who are taken, and it's up to his daughter to save them. One would assume "Taken 3" would stick with this basic premise, but it actually switches things up, putting Bryan Mills on the run from the law when he's framed for his ex-wife's murder. As it turns out, there's a good reason why the third and final "Taken" movie deviates from the tried-and-true plotline.

Liam Neeson only agreed to Taken 3 as long as no one got taken

On the surface, it would appear that a "Taken" film where no one gets taken doesn't make a lot of sense. It would be like if there were a "Star Wars" film without any wars among the stars. However, that's apparently what star Liam Neeson wanted to do in order to keep the franchise fresh. As the actor told UK talk show host Jonathan Ross, "They called me up, and I said, 'I'll do it ... but only as long as nobody gets taken'" (via IndieWire). He doesn't elaborate on why he wanted everyone to remain where they were for the threequel, but screenwriters Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen managed to squeeze out another scenario where Bryan Mills has to showcase his special skills. 

Another reason why Neeson was probably receptive to a third "Taken" movie? The paycheck. 

Before "Taken 2" came out, Neeson was skeptical of a third installment, saying, "I can't see a possible scenario where audiences wouldn't go, 'Oh, come on...! She's taken again?'" But then he was offered $20 million to appear in the next "Taken" movie, and that kind of money will probably change one's tune.

"Taken 4" seems unlikely to happen, but at least action fans have a complete trilogy they can pop into their DVD players whenever they want to see Neeson laying down the hurt.