Liam Neeson Officially Back for Taken 2, Bryan Mills to Istanbul?

Riiiiiiiiight. As if Luc Besson was NOT going to make a “Taken 2” happen one way or another. Besson makes sequels to movies that don’t make one-third as much as the first “Taken”, he’s not going to drop the ball with a sequel to a movie that actually does major box office business. And so, “Taken 2” is not only back on, and a script by Besson and Robert Mark Kamen (the same two guys from the first movie) done and ready to shoot, but Liam Neeson is also back.

After reporting that Neeson may not be back for the sequel due to scheduling conflicts with Besson (with Besson apparently wanting to start shooting “Taken 2” this year, while Neeson does not) Deadline now reports that all is well in Besson land, and Neeson will indeed return as Bryan Mills, the former CIA spook turned concerned dad in the first movie. Instead of shooting sometime later this year, “Taken 2” will shoot instead shoot very late this year, or possibly early next year, and the new setting will be … Istanbul?

Or perhaps Istanbul is standing in for another city somewhere in the Middle East? As you’ll recall, the villains of the first movie came in many shades — Albanian, French, American, and finally, Middle Eastern. Maybe the old guy (below) that Mills capped to eventually save his daughter has, I don’t know, vengeful relatives? Dude did seem to have plenty of money to go around the world buying up virgin young girls, after all.

Taking over directing chores for former Besson protege Pierre Morel, who has gone on to bigger and better things, will be Olivier Megaton, another Besson protege who directed “Transporter 3” for the Frenchman. 20th Century Fox, who distributed the first, will do likewise for the sequel.

Maggie Grace in Taken (2008) Movie Image