Audiences have not seen the last of Lethal Weapon. The wildly successful franchise has been given new life thanks to original star Mel Gibson. According to Deadline, Gibson is entertaining the idea of being involved in Lethal Weapon 5. Gibson’s last appearance as unhinged LAPD officer Martin Riggs was in 1998 in Lethal Weapon 4.
However, it does not appear that Mel Gibson will be reprising Riggs in the new film. Instead he will be taking over directing duties from Richard Donner who unfortunately passed awaynthis year. Donner asked Gibson to take over should anything happen to him. HBO Max would be distributing the film according to reports. The recent success of Dune and The Suicide Squad may contribute to the decision to release exclusively on the streaming service. The film is in early stages of development so further information is scarce.
Mel Gibson first appeared in the original Lethal Weapon film in 1987 alongside Danny Glover. The film is notable for Danny Glover’s catch phrase that is often parodied in other properties — “I’m gettin’ too old for this sh–“. Lethal Weapon also happened to be Shane Black’s first writing credit. Fans of the writer-director may recognize recurring themes that crop up in Black’s other films. He often features Christmas as a connecting thread. This idea shows up in his comedic mysteries Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and The Nice Guys. Christmas even shows up when Shane Black directed Iron Man 3 as a favor to his friend Robert Downey Jr.
This is not the first time that Lethal Weapon has come back since Mel Gibson last reprised the role of Riggs. The characters were revived in a television reboot in 2016. The show aired on Fox and lasted for three seasons. The cast was surrounded in controversy after the series premiered. Actor Clayne Crawford was fired after two seasons for his aggressive behavior on set as well as an alleged feud with Damon Wayans. Sean William Scott replaced Clayne as a different character in the last season of the show.
Though he may not have the star power he once did, Mel Gibson is being supported in the Lethal Weapon 5 film. Before his death, Mel Gibson stated that Richard Donner asked that the actor take over the mantle should anything happen to him. Gibson stated at a Q&A in London for ‘An Experience With Mel Gibson’ what he discussed with Donner. “He was developing the screenplay and he got pretty far along with it. And he said to me one day, ‘Listen kid, if I kick the bucket you will do it.’ And I said: ‘Shut up.’ But he did indeed pass away.” Gibson has stepped up to the plate and only time will tell what will come of this new film. Mel Gibson has been the star of many popular films including the Mad Max Franchise and M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs.