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The Naked Gun: Liam Neeson in Reboot Talks, Akiva Schaffer to Direct

There was a time when most thought that comedic actor Michael Keaton wouldn't be taken seriously when he was announced as the Caped Crusader in Tim Burton's Batman in 1989. There were similar doubts about dramatic actor Leslie Nielsen being cast in the screwball comedy Airplane! Neither film was subjected to the echo chamber of social media and the internet. We're one step closer to seeing if action superstar and dramatic actor Liam Neeson can do deadpan comedy like the late Nielsen did in Paramount's The Naked Gun reboot.

The Naked Gun: Liam Neeson & Dir Akiva Schaffer in Talks for Reboot
Leslie Nielsen in The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988). Image courtesy of Paramount

The 1988 film came from the comedy team behind Airplane! in Jim Abrahams, Jerry and David Zucker, with David directing. The trio was also responsible for the original TV series that inspired it in Police Squad!, which lasted only six episodes on ABC. The success of the original film which also starred Priscilla Presley and Ricardo Montalban spawned two sequels. Deadline Hollywood reports that Neeson is in talks to star with director Akiva Schaffer set to direct. Dan Gregor and Doug Mand, who worked with Schaffer in Disney+'s hybrid live-action Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers, are set to pen the script.

Liam Neeson Photo by G Holland /
Liam Neeson
Photo by G Holland /

Schaffer will executive produce while Seth MacFarlane and Erica Huggins are producing via their company Fuzzy Door. Deadline speculates that Neeson won't be playing Nielsen's Detective Frank Drebin, but perhaps his son. Schaffer, Mand, and Gregor won an Emmy for Best TV Movie for Rescue Rangers. "Seth did approach me about resurrecting the 'Naked Gun' franchise for one film, but Seth and I keep in touch," Neeson told Bleeding Cool while promoting his action thriller Memory. " I think he's working on something else, I heard a TV series, so I haven't. We don't have a script as yet for The Naked Gun, but I'm looking forward to reading it. Seth's a powerful and a very, very funny writer."

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Tom ChangAbout Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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