Liam Neeson to bring his very particular set of skills to Naked Gun reboot

<span>Photograph: Ennio Leanza/EPA</span>
Photograph: Ennio Leanza/EPA

Liam Neeson is set to step into the brogues of the late Leslie Nielsen in a reboot of the police spoof classic The Naked Gun.

The original Naked Gun trilogy were slapstick crime-procedural parodies created by David Zucker, Jim Abrahams and Jerry Zucker, starring Nielsen as Lieutenant Frank Drebin, a good-natured but gullible detective who originated in the shortlived 1982 TV series Police Squad! The first film was released in 1988 and was a critical hit that made $140m. Two sequels – 1991’s The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear and 1994’s Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult – were also commercial successes.

A reboot of the fondly remembered franchise has been in the works for almost a decade, with The Hangover star Ed Helms originally positioned for the lead role.

Rumours that Neeson, 70, was attached to the series began when he told the People TV show that he was in talks with Seth Macfarlane, who will produce the film.

“It’ll either finish my career or bring it in another direction. I honestly don’t know,” he said.