Seth MacFarlane and Paramount are reportedly planning a reboot of The Naked Gun film series, and have a curious name in mind to star: Liam Neeson. The original series are classic spoof films of the detective genre, and launched Leslie Nielsen to stardom.
“I’ve been approached by Seth MacFarlane and Paramount Studios to maybe resurrect the Naked Gun films,” Neeson told People. “It’ll either finish my career or bring it in another direction. I honestly don’t know,” he joked.
While it ostensibly might seem like a bizarre choice for an action behemoth like Neeson to star in a Naked Gun reboot, it makes some sense.
Who better to parody the genre than one of the toughest looking actors around? Neeson also has experience working with MacFarlane before, and has parodied himself on Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant‘s Life’s Too Short.
It’s also worth noting that Nielsen was considered a serious actor before Airplane! – itself a parody of disaster films. Once The Naked Gun was a hit, he reinvented his career as a deadpan imbecile in increasingly silly spoof films.
While Neeson’s career is not likely to follow that exact arc, the Naked Gun series has already proven it doesn’t need an established comic actor to work.
MacFarlane’s brief migration to film with two Ted films and A Million Ways To Die In The West (all of which featured Neeson) didn’t fully work.
He’s since jumped back to TV to continue work on Family Guy, American Dad!, The Orville, and other shows he’s producing. But rebooting The Naked Gun with Neeson, if it does happen, would certainly have people intrigued.
There’s nothing concrete in place right now, as Neeson might not even decide to take the role. It’s also worth noting that the spoof genre has been practically dead since the mid-2000s, so this is a somewhat risky bet if it does move ahead, although the budget would probably not be particularly large. We’ll wait and see what happens.