Liam Neeson will be replaced in his role in upcoming thriller Cold Pursuit by pop band Maroon 5 – the only people who made themselves available at such short notice.

The group will take turns playing Neeson’s character at different points in the film using a green screen, over a hectic two-week reshoot.

The band have agreed to clauses in their contract which bar frontman Adam Levine from taking his shirt off ever again, on the condition that 2002 hit ‘She Will Be Loved’ becomes the film’s title theme.

A spokesman for Lionsgate, the film’s producer said: “Everyone knows they’re the least offensive act in the entire entertainment industry. We foresee some logistical problems in having five people play one part, although besides Adam, it’s hard to tell the others apart.

“And as the Super Bowl showed, no one can get offended by Maroon 5. They’ll be damn average, but that’s what we need right now after the mess Liam caused.”

Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine was delighted, saying: “We’ve always had a project like this in mind – it was originally going to be a concept album, but stepping in for more obviously appropriate but controversial acts is pretty much our gig these days.”

Disgraced star Liam Neeson apologised for his comments, insisting “I’m not a racist. I just really wanted to see if anyone knew what a cosh was.”

By David and Daisy Bard

Image: Lara Love