Taken franchise writer Robert Mark Kamen is giving it to us straight. In a recent interview with Hollywood.com, the Karate Kid (1984) and Transporter scribe (who just yesterday went off on his original version of The Karate Kid III) admits that a trilogy hadn't occurred to him until he saw the box office dollars roll in for part two. Early reviews of the Olivier Megaton-directed action thriller (produced and cowritten by Luc Besson) weren't kind, but opening weekend numbers told a different story. Taken 2 dominated the box office with $50 million domestically during its premiere, which was about double the intake for the original film (around $25 million in 2009). It was surprising and impressive — to the chagrin of Tim Burton and his animated monster movie Frankenweenie.
In the interview, Kamen admits the obvious. "We didn’t start talking about [Taken 3] until we saw the numbers. But then we said, 'Oh, OK. I think we should do a third one.' And Fox wants us to do a third one." Where else can Kamen take the storyline about a cat-and-mouse game of kidnapping with international human traffickers? "We've taken everyone we can take — it's going to go in another direction. Should be interesting." Does that mean star Liam Neeson will continue on as (kinda) retired CIA operative Bryan Mills? Hopefully. Neeson's become an inspiration for aging action stars everywhere — the kind that doesn't feel very Expendable(s) and can enunciate properly (though there are always rumblings he could appear on-screen with the E-Team). Neeson started his career with dramatic roles, but has slowly transformed into an ass-kicking rage grandpa with guns. We love it.
Read the rest of Kamen's interview over here, in which he admits his nickname for Besson. The two men called each other Shrek and Donkey. How weird and adorable.