Mel Gibson confirms that Richard Donner, who has directed all four films in the franchise, is currently working on Lethal Weapon 5.
Mel Gibson confirms that Richard Donner, who has directed all four previous films in the franchise, is currently working on Lethal Weapon 5. Gibson and Donald Glover starred as Detectives Riggs and Murtaugh in the franchise from 1987 to 1998. The first movie, written by Shane Black (Iron Man 3, The Nice Guys, The Predator), was a box office smash and quickly spawned the 1989 sequel, both considered classic buddy cop films. Joe Pesci joined the cast for Lethal Weapon 3 in 1992, while Chris Rock was added for 1998’s Lethal Weapon 4.
There have been no other films since, but Lethal Weapon 5 was finally confirmed in January this year. That report stated Glover, Gibson, and Donner would reunite for the long-awaited movie, though there was no word on a writer at the time, or whether Pesci, Rock, or any of the other original cast members, like Rene Russo, would return. There was at one point hope Black would return to write the movie to close out the franchise he began over 30 years ago, but there has been no news on the film since its announcement earlier this year. Now, Gibson has confirmed Lethal Weapon 5 is still very much alive.
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Speaking to Good Morning America to promote his new release, Fatman, Gibson was asked by host Michael Strahan about the status of Lethal Weapon 5. Gibson confirmed it’s currently being worked on by Donner, using the opportunity to call the director a legend. There was no mention of his co-stars or a writer, though Gibson’s comments were enthusiastic and effusive, proving there’s no doubt the sequel is happening. You can read his full comments below:
Yeah! No, absolutely. And the man who was behind all that, the man who brought it to the screen and gave it its, the goodies, is working on it right now: Richard Donner. He’s a legend.
Given Gibson’s positive comments, it can be assumed Glover is still attached, especially if Donner is working on the movie. It will be fascinating to see how the film deals with both its stars’ advanced ages. Plus, given Gibson’s troubling history of racist, antisemitic, and misogynistic comments, it will be interesting to see how to general public reacts as the film advances in development.
Glover, whose character Murtaugh was already talking about retirement when the first film debuted 33 years ago, is currently 74, while Gibson at 64 is no spring chicken. Hopefully the pair aren’t required to do too much running around, and Lethal Weapon 5 finds a way to introduce younger characters to do the action set pieces.
For many, the fact the movie is happening at all is disappointing, given the lack of quality of the final two entries in the franchise, with many saying the sequel is unnecessary. Aside from the many controversies surrounding Gibson in recent years, many believe the terrible quality of the third and fourth movies in the franchise means it shouldn’t be brought back to life. Still, Donner and his cast have other ideas. Who knows, though – if a solid script is produced, one which is able to properly recapture the spirit of the first two movies, Lethal Weapon 5 may well turnout to be a surprise hit.
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