Liam Neeson and director Jaume Collet-Serra have collaborated on many films during Neeson’s late-career renaissance as an action star, and the duo are teaming up once again, this time on a TV series based on one of their prior collaborations. The two will turn their 2011 action film Unknown into a series for TNT.
Collet-Serra will direct the series, while Neeson will produce. The show will pick up after the events of the 2011 film, which saw Neeson playing a doctor who loses his memory after a car accident and wakes from a coma to find his identity stolen and a group of assassins hunting him down. A new protagonist will lead the series.
Sean Finegan (Free Fall) will write the pilot and also executive produce the series, with Karl Gajdusek (Stranger Things) and Speed Weed (Arrow) acting as showrunners.
The original film was penned by Oliver Butcher and Stephen Cornwell, adapting Didier Van Cauwelaert‘s 2003 French novel. It’s one of the more disappointing Neeson/JCS joints despite making a healthy profit at the box office. Perhaps TNT would have been better making a TV adaptation of Non-Stop or The Commuter.
This is not the first film TNT has made into a series; they did the same with Snowpiercer and Animal Kingdom. Obviously this is barely an adaptation of the film considering Neeson isn’t involved on screen and it takes place after the events of the movie, but getting Neeson’s name on the project as a producer is probably worth it to the network.
Collet-Serra is an underrated genre director who has Disney film Jungle Cruise arriving soon, plus he’s also directing the DC superhero movie Black Adam, each of which star Dwayne Johnson.
With those on his docket, it’s frankly surprising he’s signed on to helm this series, which already has the stench of the sort of show that’s cancelled after one season. We’ll see if Unknown can perform better than other recent shows based off genre movies such as Twelve Monkeys and Minority Report, which each arrived with hype before low ratings led to them being axed.