Taken 2
Liam Neeson takes a seat on the poster for Taken 2 (2oth Century Fox)

Liam Neeson will return as the former government agent with a "certain set of skills" in Taken 2.

The first Taken, produced by Luc Besson, was an unexpected hit and transformed Liam Neeson into an action superstar, as he battered his way through Europe to rescue his daughter (Maggie Grace).

Plot details for the sequel are thin on the ground, but fans of the original can breathe a sigh of relief that it will not simply copy its predecessor and have Grace kidnapped again.

Instead, it has been revealed that Rade Sherbedgia will star as the main villain in the film. He plays the father of the lead kidnapper, who met a sticky end after grappling with Neeson on a boat in Taken's climax.

In a plot that bears some resemblance to that of Die Hard with a Vengeance, Sherbedgia is out for revenge and takes Neeson and his ex-wife (Famke Janssen) hostage.

This leaves the responsibility for rescue attempts with Grace, who spent the first film screaming and hiding under beds. Presumably, Neeson will use his skills to enact an escape and snap a few elbows on the way out.

It's an interesting twist to have Neeson as the kidnap victim, rather than the rescuer once again, although the logic of the kidnappers has to be questioned considering the trail of destruction he left in his wake in the original film.

The sequel has a new director in Olivier Megaton, who was responsible for the workmanlike Transporter 3 and the flop Columbiana.

Despite the lacklustre reception of his last films, they showed that Megaton certainly has the eye for a good action sequence, while Taken's immense popularity, especially in the DVD rental market, should ensure him a strong audience for the sequel.

Taken was the very definition of a surprise hit. What seemed generic on paper turned into a phenomenally successful film mainly through word of mouth. However, the atmosphere of surprise will not be present in the sequel, leaving Megaton with the tricky prospect of making a good film, while pleasing the original's devotees.

Here's hoping it features another scene as iconic as Neeson's address to his daughter's kidnappers:

Taken 2 is set for release in October.