Taken is heading to TV.
NBC had handed out a straight-to-series order to an hour-long drama based on Luc Besson’s feature film series of the same name starring Liam Neeson. The TV series is being described as a prequel rather than a reboot and will be set several years before the events of the first film.
The original film starred Neeson as Bryan Mills, a CIA operative on a mission to save his daughter’s life. NBC’s series will be set in the modern day and follow a young Bryan Mills as he works for the company and will reveal how he acquired the skills showcased in the 2008 feature film. The exact size of the episode order has not been determined, though it is expected to be at least ten episodes. Deadline first reported the news.
Luc Besson, who produced and penned the original feature, is attached to executive produce the TV series, which is set up as a co-production at EuropaCorp and NBC’s sister studio Universal Television. Matthew Gross, Edouard de Vesinne and Thomas Anargyros will also serve as executive producers. A search is now underway for a writer/showrunner. NBCUniversal International Distribution will handle internal sales in all territories excluding France.
Taken is the latest project to emerge from the recent trend of adapting established feature film properties into TV series. This project sets itself apart from the rest of the pack, however, as it is a prequel, while nearly all of the other feature-to-TV adaptations that are in development or have already scored series orders are straight reboots or, in a couple of cases, sequels to the original feature films on which they are based.
Such projects presently in development include Urban Cowboy and Behind Enemy Lines at Fox, Shooter at USA Network, Training Day at CBS and The Notebook at The CW. Meanwhile, feature-film-to-TV series set launch this coming season include Minority Report on Fox, Rush Hour and Limitless on CBS, and ABC’s new take on 1980s comedy film Uncle Buck