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Casting Updates: Taken 3, The Whole Truth, Marvel & xXx 3!
Fresh off the wire as this week's festivities move forward for the European Film Festival in Berlin, Deadline confirmed that director Olivier Megaton will return to the director's seat once again for the Liam Neeson actioner, Taken 3. Neeson is expected to reprise his role with much of the main cast, namely actress Maggie Grace who plays his daughter, in addition to the film's newly annouced cast member, Forest Whitaker.
The film marks the third installation of EuropaCorp's surprise franchise success that began with Neeson starring as former CIA operative Bryan Mills trekking through France's seedy underworld of Albanian sex traffickers to hunt down his daughter's kidnappers in the Pierre Morel-directed 2008/09 film, while the 2012 sequel pit our hero against their blood thirsty family members hungry for vengeance as they stalk Mills and his family through Istanbul. As for the third offering, no plot details have been made, although Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen are back to treat the script.
Neeson will appear in his second film opposite director Jaume Collet-Serra for the high-flying hostage thriller, Non-Stop, set to release in North America on February 28, 2014.
Variety is also reporting that actor Daniel Craig is lined up for a new role in a courtroom thriller titled The Whole Truth. Nicholas Kazan, who wrote director Michael Apted's 2002 domestic violence action drama, Enough, and Michael Karbelnikoff's 1991 prohibition-era gangster crime drama, Mobsters, is providing the screenplay, while Richard Suckle and Courtney Hunt will produce and direct respectively.
Craig is currently returning to his fourth stint as the iconic MI6 agent, James Bond in the tentatively titled Bond 24 with Sam Mendes back to direct for a November 6, 2015 release.
In Marvel news, while Tom Hiddleston's previous efforts to nab the role of Marvel superhero Thor eventually segwayed into that of his adopted brother, Loki, actor Chris Hemsworth will no doubt return for the role with Hiddleston in the pending release of Thor 3 as per the slate of films within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Thor: The Dark World's executive producer Craig Kyle and writer Christopher Yost will be penning the script, which might center around the cyclic death and rebirth of the Asgardian gods, otherwise known as the Ragnarok story arc.
Meanwhile, reports also suggest that a writer is still being sought for the third Captain America film, but now the directors of the upcoming April 4, 2014 release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Anthony and Joe Russo are now on board to direct the third film, with actor Chris Evans reprising his role.
Marvel has three dates slated for untiltled new films between now and 2017, which could mean Thor 3 may land one of those dates. In the meantime, Hemsworth and Evans are rejoining the principle cast for The Avengers: Age Of Ultron, in addition to new actors, including South Korean local actress Kim Soo-Hyun who has been newly cast as another villain. The film bows on May 1, 2015.
Last but not least, Marvel's Guardian Of The Galaxy voice-over co-star, actor Vin Diesel continued to correspond with his #Vinbook community with viral videos and posts on Facebook accompanied by the tunes of singers Beyonce and Katy Perry. Reports suggest that Universal Pictures is granting last year's successful theatrical release of Riddickwith a sequel, which was reported in previous headlines to begin exploring 'The Underverse'. In addition further news highlights the completion of the script treatment for the long gestating development of the tentatively titled xXx: The Return Of Xander Cage following Diesel's role in the 2002 film with actor Ice Cube replacing him in the 2005 sequel.
Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy release on August 1, 2014, while Diesel continues to complete the epic production of Fast And Furious 7 slated for April 10, 2015.
The past few weeks have been stirring the fan fervor a bit between Wu Jing's current Hong Kong run with hit sequel, Wolf Warrior 2, as well as Donnie Yen in lieu of his upcoming crime drama, Chasing The Dragon. Both names circulated the rumormill in hyperbolic fanboy fashion next to that of action star Jet Li (League Of Gods) who himself scaled back substantially on physically demanding roles in recent years due to his own health.
Whatever the case may be now, of course there's a photo flying around on social media with no context to it whatsoever, and doing nothing to ease the curiousity with specifics. For this, we now have some much-needed clarity with news of the new shortfilm, Master, now in production with Yen, Wu and Li involved. Unknown are the respective degrees of involvement while it is also reported that Jack Ma invited the trio to work together on this project.
Regarding the above photo, it was taken with congratulations to Yen in the wake of his recent fourteen-…
With the upcoming rollout or Jesse Johnson's The Pay Up, Accident Man and Triple Threat in his wake, leave it to action star Scott Adkins to help carry the mantle with word on the upcoming action thriller revisal, Sinners & Saints: Vengeance. Adkins will reunite once more with Chad Law-penned Jarhead 3: The Siege helmer William Kaufman who, in turn, reunites with actor Johnny Strong who led the initial 2011 revenge cop thriller.
The film aims as a stand-alone sequel which tells of a New Orleans detective who journeys to Moscow to avenge the murder of his partner at the hands of a syndicate enforcer with the help of an old war buddy, and the enforcer's lover. Law, whose writing credits also include Kaufman's zombie hit thriller, Daylight's End and Isaac Florentine's Adkins-led home invasion action pic, Close Range, is scripting with Saints And Sinners scribe Jay Moses ahead of the film's Bulgarian shoot this Winter.
Three years, two films and more than a global gross of $171 million dollars later, the fact is there's no way that the John Wick film saga was not getting third installment. That became clearer last October as well as back in June with reports of Derek Kolstad returning to pen the script; Chad Stahelski's involvement was still being ironed out even after sharing the helm with 87Eleven partner David Leitch for the 2014 original and debuting as a solo director on the sequel.
For this, we have new trade updates over at Deadline officiating Stahelski's return for John Wick: Chapter Three which now has an official release date set for May 17, 2019. Casting remains pending while the most obvious of the reprising bunch will be that of actor Keanu Reeves whose portrayal of the title character - a stoic hitman forced to violently broker his wishful exit from the highly-organized criminal underworld regulated by a self-sustaining global syndicate known as The Continental, which its…