The rumors have been ongoing for years. With an amazingly successful franchise that began way back in 1987 with the original Lethal Weapon, saw it continue on with Lethal Weapon 2 in 1989, Lethal Weapon 3 in 1992, and finally Lethal Weapon 4 in 1998, one would think the franchise was done. Especially after the movie franchise also created a TV series spin-off, Lethal Weapon for Fox. Not so fast. Lethal Weapon 5 is coming.
It came back in January of this year during The Hollywood Reporter’s Producers Roundtable. This one included Dan Lin, the producer of the TV series Lethal Weapon. In it, he came straight out saying, “We’re trying to make the last Lethal Weapon movie. And [Richard] Donner’s coming back. The original cast is coming back. And it’s just amazing. The story itself is very personal to him. Mel [Gibson] and Danny [Glover] are ready to go, so it’s about the script.”
Despite a long history of trying and failing to make Lethal Weapon 5, it looks like now things have changed dramatically. The script is still the script and ready to roll. Dan Lin says now 90-year-old director Richard Donner is back. So are now 64-year-old Mel Gibson and 74-year-old Danny Glover.
Lin also mentioned the “original cast” is back but offered no details on what “original” means? Does that mean we will see Darlene Love as Trish Murtaugh and Traci Wolfe as Rianne Murtaugh? Or does “original” mean the likes of Joe Pesci and Rene Russo? Hopefully, we find out soon, but chances are 77-year-old Joe Pesci will not be coming out of retirement again to play Leo Getz.
A HISTORY OF TRYING TO MAKE LETHAL WEAPON 5
Sure Lethal Weapon 5 is happening now, but it’s take a long time to get here. It was way back in 2008 when talk first began in earnest about a fifth Lethal Weapon as director/screenwriter Shane Black (Monster Squad, Last Action Hero, Iron Man 3), who wrote the script for the original Lethal Weapon and helped with the story on number two, was rumored to be putting together the movie. After some bouncing back and forth, the plans were scrapped as Mel Gibson finally declined to reprise his role as Detective Riggs.
Ten years later in 2018 director Richard Donner was ready to go with Lethal Weapon 5. He wanted to call it Lethal Finale. He finally got Gibson to say yes, Glover was already in. But as Donner told the Nerdist’s Maltin On Movies podcast, things weren’t copacetic with the movie studio, who happen to be Warner Bros. “And I’m ready to do 5. It’s called Lethal Finale. It’s very dark. And we were all set to go and now Warner Bros. is doing their old-fashioned tricks. Not Warner Bros., there’s this guy who runs the studio who’s great but they have these people in the legal department who do the negotiating in the most counter-productive way. They should be sent to a studio and work with the producers and directors and actors, and learn what makes a film, and then negotiate. But it’s just embarrassing.”
Donner goes on to sing the praises of potential Lethal Weapon 5 screenwriter Channing Gibson, who wrote Lethal Weapon 4. “And it’s too bad, because there’s a wonderful writer named Channing Gibson, who wrote 4 for me, and we have a really great story. It IS dark. But I wanted to end it on an emotional note, and I don’t think it’s gonna happen.”
ARE THEY TOO OLD FOR THIS?
Are both Gibson, who clocks in at 64 and carries a lot of baggage with him, and Glover, who is a decade older at 74, too old for this sh*t? Both actors are continuing to get tons of work in Hollywood, so it’s not like they’d be rusty. Just a bit aged to be in an action movie like Lethal Weapon 5.
If Harrison Ford can pull off Indiana Jones at near 80, maybe they can turn back the clock too.