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Taxi : Brooklyn South - Chyler Leigh to star

Chyler Leigh, best known as Lexie Grey on Grey's Anatomy, will star in a Luc Besson-produced action comedy series, Taxi : Brooklyn South, where she will play a NYPD officer who partners up with a French taxi driver. 12 episodes of this action comedy series will start filming in a few weeks. The French leading role has not been cast yet, but we do know that Jacky Ido (Marcel in Inglorious Basterds, Radiostars) will have a role.

Episodes 1.01 & 1.02 will soon be directed by Olivier Megaton, director of such classics as La sirène rouge, Transporter 3, Colombiana and Taken 2. The show will be produced by Besson's company, EuropaCorp.

Taxi is a French action comedy film franchise taking place in Marseille, where a cab driver with a very fast taxi helps out a police officer in his investigations - usually involving fast opponents. Four installments have been released in 1998, 2000, 2003 and 2007, which have been met with mixed reviews (Taxi, Taxi 2) to negative reviews (Taxi 3, T4xi) but overall popular acclaim : 6.5 million tickets have been sold for the first Taxi, 10.2 million tickets for Taxi 2 (25th highest grossing film at the French box-office), 6 millions for Taxi 3 and 4.5 million tickets sold for T4xi.

These buddy action films with mismatched partners starred Samy Naceri as taxi driver Daniel Morales, Frédéric Diefenthal as police officer Émilien Coutant-Kerbalec and Marion Cotillard as Daniel's girlfriend Lily Bertineau (she didn't appear in T4xi). Other recurring cast members included Bernard Farcy (Commissaire Gilbert), Emma Wiklund (Petra), Jean-Christophe Bouvet (Edmond Bertineau) and Edouard Montoute (Alain).

In 2004, it spawned an American remake (also taking place in New York) starring Queen Latifah and Jimmy Fallon, which grossed $36 million out of a $25 million budget.

Here's an extract of Taxi 3 prior to its opening title sequence. Sylvester Stallone makes a cameo :

The show is probably not going to be a masterpiece, much like The Transporter TV series starring Chris Vance in lieu of Jason Statham. But it's notable that while Besson tried to distance himself from the Transporter series, here he is not, so hopefully it won't be as shamefully embarrassing - The Transporter was universally panned and a ratings flop in France but it had some success in Germany (which co-produced it), so maybe the show isn't dead.

I'm reporting this news since I figure Grey's Anatomy fans could be interesting in knowing about this upcoming starring role for Chyler Leigh, but still, Luc Besson needs to stop producing TV versions of his film franchises - soon you know there'll be a Taken TV series. He's been invested in the TV business for a couple of years, and while The Transporter was heavily criticized, another one of his productions wasn't nearly as much : it's called No Limit. Despite its title it's a French-language action drama (6 episodes ; renewed for season 2) starring Vincent Elbaz.

I haven't seen No Limit yet, but while flawed, many critics considered this show wasn't nearly as bad as one could have expected, and even was kind of fun. Like the Taxi films, it takes place in Marseille, it's about a former DGSE (= CIA) agent (Vincent Elbaz) who is dying of an incurable disease... but a secret agency has access to an experimental treatment which he can benefit from in exchange of his participation on special operations. He's been an estranged father his whole life and the show is also about his attempts to juggle between this demanding secret job and reconnecting with his ex-wife (Hélène Seuzaret) and especially his daughter (Sarah Brannens) whom he never really got to know.

Yeah, it might be a bit stupid and cliché but it's considered to be quite fun.

No Limit returns to TF1 in 2014. As for Taxi : Brooklyn South, no broadcaster is attached to the project yet.


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