I’ve never been interested in watching the Lethal Weapon TV series, but the concept makes sense. The film franchise had run out of gas, there hadn’t been a new entry since 1998, and the IP still had value as a buddy-cop comedy. It’s not like anyone would be crazy enough to get Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, and director Richard Donner back for a Lethal Weapon 5…right?
Deadline reports that Gibson, Glover, and Donner “are all huddling on the possibility of doing another film for the the Lethal Weapon franchise with Lethal Weapon 4 writer Channing Gibson (no relation to Mel) penning the screenplay. There are no details yet, but even if this somehow received a green light from Warner Bros. tomorrow and was in theaters next year, Gibson would be 62 and Glover would be 72. Hell, Donner, who hasn’t directed a feature since 2006’s 16 Blocks, would be 88.
And is there really any demand for this sequel? That’s no slam against the Lethal Weapon movies. The first one is a classic, two is surprisingly good, and three and four are watchable enough, but it’s been almost twenty years since the last entry and I’m not sure where the audience is to see Gibson and Glover still trading quips and shooting bad guys. The premise is sound—hence the TV series—and I would even consider a reboot of sorts given the right talent, but dipping back into this well for a fifth entry seems painfully ill-advised. It’s okay to stop making Lethal Weapon movies. No one is going to be upset that this film didn’t happen.
If this does come together (and that’s a big if), I wonder if they could get anyone else back from the previous movies. It was a huge lift just to get Joe Pesci out of retirement and into Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, so I doubt he’d return, and I have to assume that Rene Russo would be a maybe. But even if it’s just Gibson and Glover with Donner behind the camera, this whole thing smacks of a terrible idea.