Television sequels to hit films are all the rage these days thanks to the likes of Minority Report and Limitless. However, a less common trajectory is that of the TV series prequel, but that may soon change.
While Taken 3 may have been a clunker, that hasn’t stopped EuropaCorp from moving forward with the latest iteration of the Taken franchise – which isn’t a hard call, considering the last movie made over $300 million worldwide on a $48 million budget. This time, however, the series will move to the small screen for a look into its character’s past.
According to a new report from The Wrap, NBC has given a straight-to-series order for a prequel series based on the franchise that turned Liam Neeson into an action hero. However, while the green light has been given, the show has yet to name a writer and/or showrunner for the project. At this point, the only thing known for certain is that Universal Television and EuropaCorp (Luc Besson’s production company) will produce the show together.
Currently, television’s biggest success story when it comes to feature film prequels is A&E’s Bates Motel. That series works because of how it handles the standing mythology of its source material in order to conduct a modern day prequel to the Alfred Hitchcock classic. Details here are scant, so there is no word on whether or not NBC’s Taken plans to follow suit. What is known at the moment is that the series will follow Bryan Mills before he was a husband and father, perhaps during his days in the CIA.
The most apt comparison that seems relevant here is The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. Doesn’t ring a bell? That might be because the show didn’t last very long. The short-lived series took the famed Dr. Jones, made him a teenager and sent him on TV-sized Indiana Jones adventures. Then again, with so few details about this Taken prequel available, any comparison to existing movie-to-TV successes or failures is pure speculation.
At any rate, it seems those wondering whether or not a young Bryan Mills has the particular set of skills to handle a weekly series won’t have to wait too long to find out.
Bryan Mills, the character played by Neeson in the movies, is a young man with no wife and kids. … The series will focus on how Mills acquires his “very particular set of skills” and becomes the character we all know. The series will bend time as it will be set in modern day, not decades in the past.