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Riding high on the success of its second installment are the creators of the “Taken” franchise, Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, who have announced another addition to the series, this time, with India’s Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid and his wife Louise Khurshid on board for Taken 3.
Our correspondent for The UnReal Times in Hollywood, Arnold Shivajinagar, whose family hails from Pune and is now based in Los Angeles, caught up with the famed scriptwriter duo and actor Liam Neeson in an exclusive rendezvous. “Taken 3 is going to be set entirely in India. The story advances by 20 years. I lose my vision due to a freak accident and join the Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust, a home for those with special needs. A few days after I’m enrolled in the home, I find out that the people who’re running it take away all our money. How I retrieve all the money back, despite being blind forms the basis of the story. It’s sure to fulfill expectations of all the Taken fans and sure to inspire Indian film stars too,” said Neeson.
Throwing more light on the movie, Besson said, “We’re extremely grateful that the Indian Law Minister and his better half have agreed to reprise their alleged real-life acts on celluloid too. They’re so perfect for the role. In fact, some of their real-life dialogues, like Lousie’s ‘ambulance chaser‘ remark go well with Liam’s character – an intelligence agent. Even though they weren’t physically available, they had someone from the Uttar Pradesh government to forge their signatures on our dotted lines. We recently shot a trailer for Taken 3 and it’s come out really well. The trailer begins rather interestingly, with Indian commentator Ravi Shastri saying ‘In the air ..andddddd takennnn’. Mighty kind of Ravi to do that for us! He was just what the doctor ordered!”
Kamen took over, saying, “We then have a bunch of TV anchors scream news about the Khurshids siphoning money. We needed some officials from the Congress to refute what was buzzing around. In order to get the shot as close to reality as possible, we sneaked into the houses of a couple of Congress spokespersons, one was Rashid Alvi and the other one was, well, I don’t recollect her name – the loud, boisterous lady with a lot of makeup? Right, Renuka Chowdary! At 2 am, we woke them up right when they were in the midst of deep slumber and asked the most random question - Is it true that Salman Khurshid swatted a mosquito in his house? Both of them immediately blurted out, with their eyes closed, ‘The allegations are completely baseless’ and ‘They are utterly false and defamatory’, respectively. This was just the level of precision we needed for our shot! Then just for fun, Liam went to Khurshid’s house and asked him the same question. Khurshid apparently replied, ‘Am I mad to swat a mosquito in my own constituency? You don’t swat mosquitoes of your own constituency!’
Neeson concluded by saying that just like the first part, there would be a show-stealing phone call scene in this one too. “That’s right. I call up Khurshid and I tell him – I dunno who you are, I dunno where you are, I dunno how you look, I can’t see you. But if you don’t return our money, I promise, I will find you, I will hunt you down and I will make salmon out of you!”