BIFA contenders a study in diversity | Beefed up at BIFA
Variety Award: Liam Neeson:
Beloved big man | Neeson’s ‘To Do’ list overflows | Lean on Liam
Liam Neeson’s packed dance card reflects his bankability, his reputation as a model professional and his work ethic as a single parent with a family to support. He mixes leading and supporting roles with cameos and voice work, in studio and indie projects of all shapes and sizes.
He can be heard as Aslan in “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” and seen briefly in Paul Haggis thriller “The Next Three Days.”
His next leading role is in Jaume Collet-Serra’s “Unknown,” to be released by Warner on Feb. 18. Set in Berlin, it’s another Euro thriller following his success in the Paris-based “Taken,” with Neeson this time playing a man who has his identity stolen.
Neeson is in the midst of shooting a cameo as an admiral in Universal/Hasbro’s “Battleship,” with another couple of scenes to complete next April. He also recently dropped into “The Hangover 2″ for a one-day turn as a tattoo artist after Mel Gibson was forced out of the project.
In January, Neeson will start shooting Joe Carnahan’s “The Grey” in Alaska. It’s the story of men who survive a plane crash in the tundra but find themselves preyed upon by a pack of wolves. “It’s going to be arduous, a tough one,” Neeson says.
Then he’s committed to play a sheriff on the U.S./Mexican border in Ji-Woon Kim’s contempo Western “Last Stand.” “And somewhere I’ve got to squeeze in ‘Clash of the Titans 2,’ ” Neeson notes.
After that, he’s hoping to take the lead in a low-budget indie project that director Brad Silberling is trying to set up, “An Ordinary Man.” The role would be a rare departure to the dark side, a fugitive war criminal modelled on former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic who’s being hidden by his supporters.
He also wants to return to the stage after a few years’ absence. “I need the drug of theater,” he says. He’s in negotiations with Dublin’s Abbey Theater to appear in what would be a blockbuster production of Sean O’Casey’s classic play “Juno and the Paycock,” with Stephen Rea and Sinead Cusack.