Bradley Cooper and Liam Neeson Join ‘The A-Team’

Sometimes, you can believe everything you hear — or read, in this case. A month after Bradley Cooper confirmed himself for “The A-Team,” then quickly backtracked, we learn that The Hollywood Reporter reveals that he is in “official talks” to play Lt. Templeton “Faceman” Peck in Joe Carnahan’s remake of “The A-Team.” You can still play the skeptic if you like, but I think the third time’s the charm on this particular bit of news. Particularly since Faceman is the perfect character for Cooper: handsome, popular with the ladies and hustler for the team.

Cooper’s not the only member of team that’s been potentially recruited, as Variety is reporting that Liam Neeson is negotiating his own place in “The A-Team,” as Col. John “Hannibal” Smith, the team’s head honcho and tactician. Neeson is reportedly working out “money issues” with Fox, and as he’s fresh off the solid streak of “Taken,” “Chloe” and “The Clash of the Titans,” he is certainly entitled to play a little hardball. Don’t you think?

“The A-Team” is based on the popular 1980s series, keeping the show’s original setup of four military veterans who break out of jail and become mercenaries — the good kind, of course — after being wrongly convicted of armed robbery. They constantly have to evade military police while out on their money-making adventures, making up for the lack of a military-grade budget with the knowhow to form weapons out of common items.

Fox has struggled to bring the classic TV series to the big screen for years. The project recently attracted the interest of Ridley and Tony Scott, who then brought on Carnahan (“Smoking Aces”) to helm the adaptation earlier this year. Carnahan and new writer Brian Bloom have rewritten Skip Woods’ original script, replacing the campy tone of the series with something closer to “Mission: Impossible” and “Ocean’s Eleven.” I guess this means Neeson’s Hannibal won’t have a side career as a low-budget horror movie actor, as he did in the show.

Two roles are still in need of casting: Capt. “Howling Mad” Murdock, the mentally unstable (or brilliant faker) helicopter pilot and the highly skilled mechanic Sgt. “B.A.” Baracus, played in the original series by Mr. T. Who will Carnahan and the Scotts get to hold their own against the potential Neeson/Cooper duo? And who will dare to play a role made famous by Mr. T? We’ll find out soon, as shooting is set to begin at the end of July in order to make the film’s release date of June 11, 2010.

Readers, are you excited for “The A-Team” now that Cooper and Neeson may be climbing aboard? Or does this sound like another in a long line of disastrous television remakes?