Mel Gibson In Talks To Direct ‘Lethal Weapon 5’

Lethal Weapon looks to be the latest franchise to be getting a belated sequel. Mel Gibson is reportedly in talks to direct a fifth installment of the action-comedy franchise that originally ran from 1987-1998. He is in talks to direct and star, although sources stress that no deal has yet been completed.

Gibson would replace previous franchise director Richard Donner, who passed away in July. Gibson and Donner had reportedly been developing another sequel over the years since the fourth film, with Donner even telling the Daily Telegraph last December: “This is the final one. It’s both my privilege and duty to put it to bed. It’s exciting […] It’s the last one, I’ll promise you that.”

The original Lethal Weapon, written by Shane Black, told the story of Gibson’s Los Angeles police detective Martin Riggs who, following the death of his wife, becomes reckless and suicidal. He’s reassigned and partnered with Danny Glover‘s Roger Murtaugh, and the two immediately clash, before together uncovering a massive drug-trafficking ring and soon forming a lifelong bond.

This latest installment would reportedly be developed for HBO Max, where the entire franchise currently resides in the U.S. It’s unknown right now who from the original cast would return, and how a sequel would even work if Glover doesn’t sign on.

There was a short-lived Fox series based on the franchise that aired between 2016 and 2019, but otherwise Lethal Weapon has been dormant since the 90s. HBO are obviously banking on the nostalgia factor to drive subscribers for their streaming platform.

But the fact that the film isn’t being developed for a theatrical release probably suggests that the audience isn’t entirely there. Or, like with a lot of these belated sequels, the studio’s thinking is that audiences want to consume something familiar from their own homes, and are banking on that factor being what keeps them subscribed to the streaming platform.

If Gibson does indeed sign on to star and direct, it’s unclear when the film would begin shooting, as he currently has a number of projects in the works. They include a starring role in John Wick spinoff series The Continental, drama film Stu about a real-life boxer-turned-priest, and spy thriller Agent Game.

Gibson’s involvement will likely be confirmed shortly, but it will be interesting to see how Lethal Weapon 5 comes together with its older star(s) and a far different world than the original franchise was released into.

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