By: Kristy Puchko
While critics rushed to dump on Taken 2, audiences rushed to see the sequel to the 2008 Liam Neeson thriller to the tune of a whopping $363 million worldwide. This not only sparked talk of a third installment of the abduction-centric franchise, but also raised the profile of the feature’s director Olivier Megaton, making him a hot commodity in Hollywood.
Now, Deadline reports that Megaton has been snagged to helm a New York City-set action thriller based on a true story. Produced by Emmett/Furla Films, Taking Gotham centers on a secret unit of the New York Police Department that formed to end a string of brutal robberies that hit the Big Apple. But after an undercover sting operation turned deadly, the NYPD disowned the unit, forcing them to go into hiding to clear their names.
The script by Thomas Kelly has an intriguing premise, and Emmett/Furla is putting down $60 million for the film’s production. This means Megaton should have access to a great effects budget and the possibility of a few notably names for the cast. By contrast, Taken 2‘s budget was only $45 million, which was enough to land Neeson as well as Famke Janssen and Maggie Grace. So just imagine who the filmmakers could score with $15 mil more.
The casting process for Taking Gotham will begin right away with production slated to begin next March. Since Megaton was slated to be helming another abduction thriller—this one called Land of the Living—in January of 2013, this could mean that the two flicks will lens back to back, or more likely the latter—which is not mentioned in Deadline’s item—has been bumped to a later time.
Source: Cinema Blend