Pierre Morel went from shooting The Transporter to directing a tidy little Liam Neeson thriller that almost didn’t see release in the US to being sort of a big thing after Taken scooped up a couple hundred million.

Paramount has just bought an untitled Frank Baldwin pitch, set in Tokyo, for him to script as a directorial gig for Morel. The focus is a “CIA operative, stationed in Japan but on the verge of retirement, who is ordered to carry out a final mission. He finds himself caught in the middle of an international conspiracy.”

Which ain’t quite, say, Black Rain, but is enough of a framework for Morel to cast someone solid and work a little Taken magic. Maybe. There aren’t a lot of actors like Neeson that he can draw on, but it’s easy to imagine that the pervasive popularity of that movie might help persuade another top-shelf non-action actor to sign on. What’s Olympia Dukakis up to later this year?