Liam Neeson Likely Won't Be In NBC's 'Taken'

by Kayla Hawkins
Christos Kalohoridis/NBC

The latest TV adaptation from a recent film is NBC's Taken, which will premiere not even a decade after the movie's 2008 release. Already, there's nostalgia for the film's iconic monologue and the revelation that star Liam Neeson could be an action badass. And, as some kind of tribute or even just a cameo, will Liam Neeson appear on the Taken TV show? There's been no word from either Neeson or the producers on whether or not the star will make an appearance at some point in the show's first season. But it makes sense that a Neeson cameo hasn't been teased by the Taken producers, because this is supposed to be a prequel. So even though Liam Neeson's performance as Bryan Mills garnered the actor a bunch of new fans when he took a late-career turn towards being a stoic action hero, the TV series will show how be got his "particular set of skills" that lead up to the moment in the first film where his daughter is kidnapped.

And, unfortunately, because Mills has tried to move on from his past at the beginning of the film series, it doesn't really make sense for any of the other characters to make a cameo appearance either. So, if there's not going to be an appearance from any of the original characters with their original actors, any cameos would have to be the film actors playing new characters, and it doesn't sound like that's going to happen.

What is planned for the premiere is evoking the feeling of Taken the film. The pilot episode follows a similar formula to the first movie, where Bryan Mills' skills as a CIA operative are directly proportionate to a personal tragedy he experiences in what looks like the first few moments of the episode.

However, the show isn't just about the similarities to the movie — the Taken series is planning on deviating significantly from the source material after the pilot and keep Mills' family safe in order to dramatize the relationship between Mills and Hart, a fellow special agent who's not sure how to regard him.

Adding a central female character who's not in danger or directly related to Bryan Mills is both a great way to include better representation in an adaptation of a franchise that largely casts women as victims, and a way to introduce a new element and a new source of conflict that will help distinguish the TV show from the original movie. So, I wouldn't be hung up on the fact that Liam Neeson isn't planning on making a cameo appearance in the Taken TV show. The series is clearly trying to do its own thing.