‘Taken 3’ to film in Atlanta

“Taken 3,” starring Liam Neeson, films in Atlanta soon.

“The plot is unknown at this time,” its imdb page says, but we’re thinking it might be about someone who gets kidnapped. Just a guess.

The thriller joins the growing list of movies filming here this year, including “Mockingjay” and “Fast & Furious 7,” which have both been in town for months; along with more recent arrivals “Term Life” with Vince Vaughn and “Goosebumps” with Jack Black.

We’re told “Taken” location folks are scouting some lovely homes in the Buckhead area, not far from the historic Swan House, a favorite “Catching Fire” and “Mockingjay” filming site.

In a recent interview with GQ, Neeson sounded surprised at how popular the “Taken” series has become.

“I wanted to do more physical stuff,” he told GQ. “I really thought it would be kind of a little side road from my so-called career. Really thought it would go straight to video. But it just got great word of mouth. I was stunned.”

Neeson, who was in Atlanta last year for a cameo role in “Anchorman 2,” is likely to keep a low profile when he returns for “T3.” He gave up drinking and is not interested in dating since the death of his wife, Natasha Richardson.

“I’m keeping myself to myself,” he told GQ. “And I like it that way. I’m not hunting. I’m the opposite of a, what would a male cougar be? Is there such a thing? Whatever it is, I’m not that.”

Events benefit autism research

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week released new data reporting a 30 percent jump in autism diagnoses from 2008 to 2010. Its report was based on a study including children in nearly a dozen states, including Georgia, and found that autism spectrum disorder affected about 1 in 68 children in the study areas. Autism Speaks, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism, has two upcoming opportunities for supporters to get involved. The Atlanta Hawks’ April 4 game against the Cleveland Cavaliers will feature a sensory-friendly section and a quiet room, and a portion of ticket sales will be donated to the charity. Game time is 7:30 p.m. See www.hawks.com/autismawareness for tickets and use the promo code “autism.” On April 5, the second annual Southern Pieces Gala at Marietta Country Club will benefit the organization. Tickets are $100 for general admission and $150 for VIP admission. The event is cocktail attire and starts at 7 p.m., with a bourbon-bar cocktail party for VIP guests. See the gala’s Facebook page, facebook.com/southernpiecesgalasite, for event information. Tickets are available at www.AutismSpeaks.org.

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