At this point, we should know that Liam Neeson can do it all. He’s a gentle giant who knows his way around a lightsaber, and could also bust a cap in your ass at a moments notice. That type of diversity must be why John Woo is interested in him for his upcoming film, Flying Tigers. According to a report from THR, the director has his eye on the veteran actor to play the older lead who’s got some miles on him but can still hold his own.
The story of Flying Tigers centers on the special team set up by Lieutenant General Claire Chennault in Yunnan Province and how it fought against the Japanese Air Force in Myanmar and South-West China.
Chennault is the role in question for Neeson, he’s a “contentious American officer whose volunteer Flying Tigers squadron trained the first generation of Chinese fighter pilots taking on Japan in WWII.” According to Woo, he wants someone who’s age appropriate and has star power.
“It’s got to be a star but it’s hard to find the right one, because at that time Chennault was almost 50 years old. Ideally, I’ve been thinking of Liam Neeson as the title actor,” Woo said.
Since Neeson won’t be playing Abraham Lincoln anytime soon, we should get this project going. Not only will the film be filled with plenty of action and drama but it will also be released in IMAX. According to IMAX CEO Rich Gelfond,
“Woo’s passion and the story lend themselves in scope to an IMAX film. John is so visual and his great talent will help us from the start to make sure that the IMAX version of [Flying Tigers] realizes the technology’s potential.”
As for Neeson’s possible co-star, Woo is looking at Liu Ye to play one of the pilots in training. Production on Flying Tigers is scheduled to begin in the spring followed by a late 2011 theatrical release.
Do you think Neeson should take on the role of Chennault? Is he a good fit?