Richard Donner Confirms He Will Direct Lethal Weapon 5!
Even at 90, Richard Donner is not too old for this sh*t! At least when it comes to teaming up with Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, who will return to star in one final Lethal Weapon film. Donner revealed as much in an interview with The Telegraph, and confirmed that he will indeed direct Riggs and Murtaugh’s final outing.
“This is the final one,” Donner said. “It’s both my privilege and duty to put it to bed. It’s exciting, actually… Hahaha! It’s the last one, I’ll promise you that.”
The Lethal Weapon franchise began in 1987 and has since spawned four films, the last being Lethal Weapon 4 way back in 1998. That film ultimately grossed $285 million at the box office (against a massive $100-150 million budget), but score lukewarm reviews and reactions from critics and audiences alike. Hopefully, Donner has enough juice left to give us something more along the lines of Lethal Weapon 2 so the series can go out with a bang.
Earlier this year, Danny Glover told Variety that “there is something of a plan” in regards to a fourth sequel.
“I don’t want to give away the plot on the script that I read, but I found the plot had very strong relevance to some of things that are happening today,” Glover said. “I can say that. But that was in January. History changes so fast. But yes, there’s been talk about it. I can only tell you, if it does happen, there is something extraordinary in it. If Lethal Weapon gives us some sort of contribution to understanding a little bit more. It would be interesting to do. It would be interesting to see how we take this within the political framework we are in; the economic framework that we are in. And especially that framework as opposed to the communities that have been affected by the kind of police violence, the kind of police standards, and the power that they exert as well. And what would be interesting from that vantage point is what that attempt could be like at this particular moment.”
Created by Shane Black, the first film was directed by Richard Donner and released in 1987 and followed beleaguered veteran detective Roger Murtaugh (Glover) as he is partnered with reckless and PTSD-afflicted Martin Riggs (Gibson). The buddy comedy received rave reviews from critics and grossed over $120 million on a $15 million budget and spawned a franchise that included three sequels starring the two and a TV adaptation with Damon Wayans Sr. and Clayne Crawford taking on the roles of Murtaugh and Riggs that ran for three seasons on Fox before being cancelled.
A fifth film has been in the talks for years, though stalled for a long time as Gibson and Glover have expressed a lack of interest and problems with various scripts offered over time until January saw the news that Lethal Weapon 5 was in active development with the duo returning alongside Donner.