Liam Neeson: ‘Naked Gun will either finish my career or bring it in another direction’

Irish star of Taken trilogy is set to bring his very particular set of skills to a reboot of Leslie Nielsen’s crime-procedural parodies

Liam Neeson is set to step into the brogues of the late Leslie Nielsen in a reboot of the police-spoof classic The Naked Gun.

The original Naked Gun trilogy were slapstick crime-procedural parodies starring Nielsen as Lieutenant Frank Drebin, a good-natured but gullible detective who originated in the shortlived 1982 TV series Police Squad! The first film, released in 1988, was a critical hit that made $140 million. Two sequels — 1991’s The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear and 1994’s Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult — were also commercial successes.

A reboot of the fondly remembered franchise has been in the works for almost a decade, with the Hangover star Ed Helms originally positioned for the lead role.

Rumours that Neeson, who is 70, was attached to the series began when he told the People TV show that he was in talks with Seth Macfarlane, who will produce the film. “It’ll either finish my career or bring it in another direction. I honestly don’t know,” said the actor, whom Variety calls the “modern-day patron saint of action movies” for his roles in the Taken trilogy, among other films, in which he played a retired CIA operative with a very particular set of skills.

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Neeson made a cameo appearance in the third season of the Channel 4 comedy Derry Girls earlier this year.