The celebrated action movie, “Taken,” is coming to the big screen with the younger Bryan Mills to be played by “Vikings” actor Clive Standen.
The news was confirmed by Variety, reporting that NBC has handed a straight-to-series order on a prequel adaptation of the popular action movies which starred Liam Neeson.
“Homeland” executive producer Alexander Cary will write, executive produce, and serve as showrunner. “The West Wing” and “Game of Thrones” director Alex Graves will helm the pilot.
The series will follow a young Bryan Mills who has no wife and kids, opposed to the movies in which his wife and daughter are kidnapped.
The show, first reported by Deadline, will focus on how Mills acquires his expert skills that enabled him to become the character known to audiences today.
The series pays homage to the first film’s famous quote: “What I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career; Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you.”
“Vikings” fan are now asking if this new lead role means that Standen is leaving the show. Entertainment Weekly reports that the actor is committed to the rest of the current fourth season (the first 10 episodes are airing now; the second half airs later this year). Showrunner Michael Hirst has teased a “final reckoning” this season between Rollo (Standen) and his brother Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) this year.
In addition to Standen’s role on History’s “Vikings,” the British actor has been on Starz’ “Camelot” and had an arc on “Doctor Who.”
The “Taken” prequel hails from Universal TV and Besson’s EuropaCorp. Besson will exec produce, along with Matthew Gross, Edouard de Vesinne and Thomas Anargyros of EuropaCorp.
“Taken” first premiered in 2008, and was a surprise box-office hit, resulting in two sequel series in 2012 and 2014. The franchise turned Neeson into a favorite action star.