Image: Liam Neeson Joining Elite, Getting $20 Million Paycheck for 'Taken 3'

Liam Neeson Joining Elite, Getting $20 Million Paycheck for 'Taken 3'

Tuesday, 25 Jun 2013 06:38 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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Action star Liam Neeson is joining an exclusive $20 million club of A-list actors who command top dollar as he negotiates his contract for a "Taken 3" movie.

Although Neeson initially dismissed the possibility of a third movie, saying “That’s just bad parenting,” the film is indeed in the works and the 61-year-old actor will reportedly be paid in the neighborhood of $20 million for his particular set of skills, Deadline Hollywood reports.

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Playing a father and former CIA operative, Neeson's role in the “Taken” movies catapulted him to much-quoted fame and the top of the Hollywood pay scale.

Other actors in that exclusive club are Julia Roberts, Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio, Angelina Jolie, Reese Witherspoon, Tom Hanks, Jim Carrey, and Mel Gibson, reported Yahoo’s Movie Talk. There are a few earning more, though, including Brad Pitt, Robert Downey Jr., Kristen Stewart, and Johnny Depp.

The first “Taken” movie cost $25 million to make and grossed more than $226 million; “Taken 2” raked in even more, costing $45 million and grossing more than $376 million.

Although Neeson waved off the idea of a "Taken 3" when interviewed by a Dublin radio station, many in the movie industry thought it was a sure thing because of the high earnings generated by the first two movies.

Neeson’s success has come later in life, but he’s been on a strong trajectory in the action world in recent years. He was nominated for an Oscar for “Schindler’s List,” and moved on to “Taken” in 2009, “The A-Team” and “The Grey.”

“Liam is a true movie star, there are not a lot of them left,” said Tom Ortenberg, CEO of Open Road Films, according to the New York Daily News. “Older women want to marry him, younger women want him to be their dad and men want to be just like him.”

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