Director Jaume Collet-Serra breaks down the action-thriller’s first footage

  • Movie

Liam Neeson is going off the rails.

The upcoming thriller The Commuter finds the action star once again pairing up with director Jaume Collet-Serra, this time for a tense mystery set on a speeding commuter train. EW has the exclusive first look at the teaser trailer, which introduces Neeson as an insurance salesman named Michael — who unexpectedly gets caught up in a deadly criminal conspiracy.

“It’s the first time in my movies with him that he’s played just a regular guy,” Collet-Serra (The Shallows) says with a laugh.

As the first trailer reveals, Michael’s been commuting into New York City for the past 10 years. His decade-long routine is interrupted, however, by the arrival of a mysterious passenger played by Vera Farmiga, who asks him to solve a puzzle and uncover the identity of a hidden passenger on his train. What seems like a harmless psychological game soon turns deadly, as Michael races to win the game before the last stop.

(WATERMARKED) The Commuter
Credit: Jay Maidment

The Commuter marks Neeson and Collet-Serra’s fourth movie together, after 2011’s Unknown, 2014’s Non-Stop, and 2015’s Run All Night. When they went looking for their next project, both actor and director gravitated toward The Commuter’s tight script and contained setting — especially because it reminded them of Non-Stop, which was set entirely on a moving airplane.

“We just like to tell the same stories,” Collet-Serra says. “Obviously, he does other types of movies, and I do other types of movies as well. But we really like to have a movie once in a while where we just do what we like. And what we like is a very tight thriller. Something Hitchcockian and fast-paced, with good actors in it and good dialogue and an interesting premise. It’s sort of like a little puzzle for the audience to solve. He enjoys those kinds of movies, I enjoy those kinds of movies, and we enjoy making them together.”

The Commuter will hit theaters Jan. 12, 2018.

The Commuter

  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • Jaume Collet-Serra