updated 04/09/2009 AT 1:00 PM ET
•originally published 04/09/2009 AT 2:45 PM ET
Liam Neeson has signed for his first new movie role since the death of his wife, Natasha Richardson, in a tragic ski accident.
The actor, 56, will play Zeus, the king of the gods, in Clash of the Titans, a reimagining of the Greek myth of Perseus, Variety reports. Ralph Fiennes is set to play Hades, the god of the underworld. (Laurence Olivier played Zeus in the 1981 movie Clash of the Titans, a cult hit.)
Neeson, who plans to start shooting Titans this summer, recently completed his final scenes on Chloe, the movie he was making at the time of Richardson’s March 18 death, and has been spending time with his sons Micheal, 13, and Daniel, 12. The family took in a soccer game in London on April 4. “Liam is taking care of his kids and making sure they’re okay,” a family friend tells PEOPLE.
For more on how Neeson and his family are coping, pick up the April 20 issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.