Back in September, NBC issued a straight-to-series order for a prequel TV series based on the hit action movie franchise Taken. We haven’t heard much about the series since then, but today we have word from The Hollywood Reporter that the show has found its leading man, Vikings star Clive Standen. The actor will play a younger version of Liam Neeson’s Bryan Mills in the series, which is set in modern-day.
In the original Taken, Liam Neeson starred as Bryan Mills, a retired CIA agent who springs into action when his daughter (Maggie Grace) is kidnapped during a trip to Paris. After contacting one of the thugs who took his daughter, Mills delivered an iconic speech to one of his daughter’s kidnappers, revealing the “very particular set of skills” he acquired over a long career, which makes him “a nightmare for people like you.” We see these skills in action throughout the rest of the movie, and its subsequent sequels, but this Taken series will show how a younger Mills acquired these skills, as he’s recruited to become a black ops agent in the elite Emergency Covert Action Team.
Luc Besson and his EuropaCorp are producing the series, which may be borrowing the format from A&E’s Bates Motel. That show is set years before the events of Alfred Hitchcock‘s 1960 classic Psycho, but is still set in present day. Luc Besson is executive producing with EuropaCorp Television U.S. president Matthew Gross, alongside EuropaCorp Television co-chairs Edouard de Vésinne and Thomas Anargyros. This project is the first from EuropaCorp TV US, which has partnered with UniversalTV for the series.
Alexander Cary (Homeland) will write the pilot script and executive produce, with Alex Graves set to direct the pilot episode. The original Taken took in an impressive $226 million worldwide from just a $25 million budget. The action-thriller spawned 2012’s Taken 2, which took in $376.1 million from a $45 million budget and last year’s Taken 3, which earned $325.7 million from a $48 million budget.
Clive Standen has starred as Rollo on History Channel’s Vikings since the series first launched in 2013, with Season 4 set to air next month. He also recently starred on the big screen in Universal Pictures’ Everest, and he will next be seen in Patient Zero, arriving this September. What do you think about Clive Standen becoming the new Bryan Mills?