Liam Neeson's Naked Gun Movie Has Finally Taken Some Huge Steps Forward

Liam Neeson in Blacklight and Leslie Nielsen in The Naked Gun, pictured side by side.
(Image credit: Briarcliff Entertainment/Paramount)

The potential for a Liam Neeson-starring revival of The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad is a dream that’s been waiting to become reality. In the past couple of years, updates have hit here and there referencing Paramount’s movement on bringing back Leslie Nielsen’s iconic comedy franchise. Well, it may not be long before we see that project join the list of upcoming movies in the near future.

Like a giant learning the mambo, the studio has taken some pretty huge steps. Per unnamed sources that have spoken to Deadline, the wheels are turning  yet again on a new Naked Gun movie. What separates this latest news from previous reporting is the fact that there’s now a director and screenwriting team in the mix. Fresh off of the Disney+ comedy Chip n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers, director Akiva Schaffer has been tapped to helm the movie, with writers Dan Gregor & Doug Mand also joining in to write a new draft. 

Liam Neeson is in negotiations to play the lead, who allegedly may be the son of Frank Drebin, Leslie Nielsen’s character from the first three Naked Gun movies.

Looking back at the combined work that was done by the Chip n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers creative team should be all anyone needs to sell them on why this is the right move. Basically, if you took away the Disney brand limitations and cranked up the crazy a little bit, you’d have The Naked Gun anyway. Anyone who enjoyed that film, or even its spiritual predecessor, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, would definitely dig the vibe of this storied franchise.

The project is a great opportunity for Liam Neeson to pursue comedy beyond his drama and action films. Previously, Seth MacFarlane was mentioned as working on developing the new Naked Gun with his own team of writers. While The Orville creator is still involved, his role looks to be only as a producer now. One can hope that hasn’t dimmed Neeson’s enthusiasm for a role for which he seems like a perfect fit.

Could The Naked Gun answer the question of whether or not Liam Neeson will retire from action movies? We’ll have to wait and see on that for the moment. But there is tremendous potential for the project with with Akiva Schaffer and his Chip n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers writers along for the ride, and we're keeping hope alive for the return of the brand's special comedy magic.

As for the subject of upcoming Liam Neeson movies, his new film Marlowe is set to debut in theaters on December 2. Those of you looking to revisit the Naked Gun films starring Leslie Nielsen can do just that with access to Showtime, which can be purchased as an add-on through several existing services, like a Paramount+ subscription. Finally, if you’re looking for love in all the wrong places, we can’t help you there; but good luck!

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.