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Liam Neeson’s Awkward Response About Naked Gun Love Interest Casting

Liam Neeson's Awkward Response About Naked Gun Love Interest Casting

Casting Liam Neeson in a reboot of the Leslie Nielsen franchise TheNaked Gun may seem at first glance to be purely linguistic, but they have a lot more in common than just their names. They both made big career shifts in their 50s, with Nielsen gravitating toward classic comedies like Airplane and The Naked Gun; Neeson moved from heavy dramas to kickass action thrillers. Both of them retained their gravitas and skill, no matter the film.

Still, it seems like a willful choice of casting against type from Paramount, though Seth MacFarlane had supposedly been courting Neeson for the role since 2015. And it doesn’t end there. Earlier this week, news broke that Sandra Hüller was in talks to play the love interest of Neeson’s character, Frank Drebin Jr. Hüller was nominated for Best Actress at the 96th Academy Awards, and starred in two Best Picture nominees, Anatomy of a Fall and The Zone of Interest (both of which won Oscars that night). She would be taking on the love interest role previously played by Priscilla Presley in the 1985 film. We asked Neeson about the casting.

I don’t know who Sandra is, forgive me.

We mentioned Anatomy of a Fall, Toni Erdmann, and The Zone of Interest.

Oh, of course, the German actress. I honestly don’t know if she’s involved. Yeah, I don’t know.

With production beginning in less than two months (set for May 2024) on The Naked Gun, it seems fairly late in the game for a big studio film to just now be casting what will likely be its second-billed role, so Neeson obviously deserves some slack for not knowing his partner in the film. If you’ve seen the actor do bits or even improv with Stephen Colbert or Ricky Gervais, though, you know he can be very funny. So, despite being a little “nervous” about the role, this should be yet another great pivot in Neeson’s career.



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Liam Neeson Is In the Land of Saints and Sinners

In The Land Of Saints And Sinners

In the Land of Saints and Sinners

Release Date
September 15, 2023

1hr 46min

Terry Loane , Mark Michael McNally

Facing East Entertainment, RagBag Pictures, London Town Films

The Naked Gun is set for release in July 2025, and there are two or three exciting Liam Neeson films coming out before then. In the Land of Saints & Sinners is up first, releasing March 29th. It’s a slow-burning character drama that becomes a tense thriller, set in 1974 while The Troubles were plaguing Northern Ireland. Neeson plays an aging, quiet hitman who gets in the crosshairs of a political group after killing one of their own.

Kerry Condon is revelatory as a vengeful, angry radical willing to kill children in her fight for a free Ireland. The film explores the way we justify violence and how we often use political or emotional reasoning to validate ourselves, all while depicting a gorgeous coastal Ireland. It’s a more quiet and soulful film than many of Neeson’s action hits, and arguably a more thoughtful and reflective one as well.

In the Land of Saints and Sinners is out March 29th from Samuel Goldwyn Films. You can watch the trailer below:

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