It’s been 23 years since the last Lethal Weapon film — almost a quarter century since wild man Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) and family man Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) stopped some crooks on the big screen. Given that Murtaugh was already saying he was “getting too old for this s—” in the first Lethal Weapon back in 1987, one might have assumed the franchise was done with 1998’s Lethal Weapon 4. Or, at least, the original version seemed to be done; there’s already been a Lethal Weapon television series that ran for three seasons in the late 2010s.
But no, apparently plans are now in motion for a Lethal Weapon 5. The project was supposedly in development under Richard Donner, the director who helmed all four previous Lethal Weapon movies. But then Donner passed away last July, leaving a vacancy in the director’s chair that may now be filled by Mel Gibson himself.
At an event in London (via NME), Gibson said that he “will be directing” Lethal Weapon 5:
[Richard Donner] 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 … But he did ask me to do it and at the time I didn’t say anything. He said it to his wife and to the studio and the producer. So I will be directing the fifth one.
Gibson is an Oscar-winning director, although his projects behind the camera have tended toward historical and Biblical epics (Braveheart, The Passion of the Christ) more than cop movies or action thrillers. Plus, Gibson spent the last decade or so producing almost as many controversies as movies. Then again, he has begun working more lately, and was recently announced as a part of the upcoming TV series spun off from John Wick. So perhaps Lethal Weapon 5 is the movie that well and truly brings him back into the Hollywood mainstream?
First, though, the movie has to be made in the first place. By the way, Glover’s character was supposedly turning 50 in the first Lethal Weapon in 1987. So if Lethal Weapon 5 is set in 2022, that’d make Murtaugh… 85 years old. I mean, I know age is just a number, but he really might be getting too old for this s— now.