Warner Bros Preparing ‘Lethal Weapon’ Reboot

Published 4 years ago by

lethal weapon riggs and murtaugh 570x286 Warner Bros Preparing Lethal Weapon Reboot

I suppose this was inevitable. We’re living in an age of remakes, reboots, re-imaginings, and anything else you can stick that “re” prefix in front of. I’m sure many of you have felt the sting of Hollywood’s magic eraser and cringed at its desire to tarnish the beloved properties you grew up with. While it’s certainly a practice I feel has spun wildly out of control, I’ll admit that this is the first time it’s escalated past a mere annoyance for me. This one actually sort of hurts.

Deadline is reporting that Warner Bros and producer Joel Silver are pushing forward with a Lethal Weapon reboot. Screenwriter Will Beall (Gangster Squad) evidently pitched a take on the material that convinced the studio to definitively abandon any plans for the oft-rumored Lethal Weapon 5 and start from scratch.

A couple of years ago, original Lethal Weapon screenwriter Shane Black wrote a treatment for a fifth film that would have acted as something of a swan song for the characters of Riggs (Mel Gibson), Murtaugh (Danny Glover), and the ever-expanding supporting cast. Silver was anxious to have Black direct the film as well, but Gibson’s loyalties were with Richard Donner (who helmed the previous four movies). The only problem was Donner had been curiously left out of WB’s plans for the film. Gibson’s interest waned and by 2009 the studio was declaring that Lethal Weapon 5 was dead.

Then Gibson’s name started making headlines for all the wrong reasons. There were rumors that Silver reached out to him once again about reprising the role of Riggs – possibly trying to tempt him to use the opportunity to get back in the public’s good graces. Suddenly, the idea of another Lethal Weapon sequel didn’t seem so implausible, but unfortunately there were no further reports on how those discussions progressed (if they did at all). Ultimately, it seems like Gibson was just never that interested in revisiting the Lethal Weapon franchise.

Deadline‘s piece says that Beall’s script will honor the hard-R tone of the original film and suggests it will follow the same basic premise as well. Beall has written for the show Castle, but is relatively untested as far as features go. His Gangster Squad script caused quite a buzz within the industry and as a former LA police officer, we know he’ll easily be able to follow the first rule of writing: write what you know.

But the bigger issue is how necessary is a Lethal Weapon reboot and how relevant would it even be in today’s cultural climate?

lethalweapon4 439x291 Warner Bros Preparing Lethal Weapon Reboot

The original Lethal Weapon wasn’t the first buddy cop movie, but it was certainly one of the most influential. The formula has been repeated ad nauseum and there are few places you could take that genre that it hasn’t already gone. At this point, it’s so played out that most recent examples of it are satirical in nature (Cop Out, The Other Guys).

Furthermore, the single biggest reason for the continued success of the Lethal Weapon franchise was the chemistry between its core cast – especially Gibson and Glover. Those actors are so iconic in those roles that it’s difficult to imagine an audience truly accepting anyone else stepping into their shoes. As the series progressed, the plots were secondary to the interplay between Riggs and Murtaugh. That’s what kept us coming back and it would never have worked as well as it did with two different actors.

What would the hook even be for a Lethal Weapon reboot? The premise isn’t nearly as edgy as it was twenty years ago and it’s not going to be seen as much of a consolation for anyone that was holding out hope for Lethal Weapon 5.

We’ll keep you updated on how this progresses, but quite frankly – I’m getting too old for this… well, you know.

Source: Deadline.

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  1. hmmm another reboot..

    • I recently read somewhere(and this is badly paraphrased from memory) that only 1 in 4 movies grossing over $80 million came from an original idea.

      • I can believe that, Brand recognition is a huge thing, and if people recognise the name of a remake from an older movie, whether they are familiar with it or not, they will go for something they think they know rather than something they have never heard of.

        That said, Avatar and Inception were both original movies and they did pretty well.

        • God damnit, leave classic movies alone Hollywood, I’m fed up with this.

          • It’s just crazy. No other word for it.

            • Greedy. That’s another word for it.

            • No, I have another word for it but I’m a Christian and can’t say it. 8-)

  2. The words Stupid and Usless come to mind. Why would you want to reboot this series? There is no reason to even think about rebooting it. Either do another movie with the original cast or not at all.

  3. why why why , just please dont do it , for one it makes me feel really old that they are doing a reboot of a series that is younger then I am , Batman and Spidey dont count, which is more about story rather then the age of the characters

  4. This is just ridiculous. What is the point? The complete and total lack of imagination in Hollywood genuinely sickens me.
    I can catergorically state that I will not be seeing this.

    • ME either Sam, my bloods boiling hot this morning with this news and the Bane thread.

  5. I really hate this, no matter what had happened with Mel Gibson lately, the role of Martin Riggs is iconic, it cannot be replaced.

    I agree completely with you, the think that makes Lethal Weapon great is the interaction between Riggs and Murtaugh. The movie itself is a buddy cop movie like any other, Gibson and Glover are the ones that made it the classic it is now. If they would’ve made the fifth one I’ll go to the cinema without any doubt, and no matter how silly the plot will be, if I hear one time Murtaugh and Riggs arguing about if they’re too old for this s**t, I’ll come out of the cinema similing like a kid.

    The reboot could be great, the new actor could surprise us all (much like Heath Ledger did portraying the Joker), that could happen, and I’ll probably watch the new one also mostly out of curiosity.

    But I think is wrong in all levels, they’re trying to cash on the title and nothing more. If they want to do another one, bring the original couple again… come on, with the status of Mel Gibson’s career right now he cannot charge THAT much, it can even be a comeback.

    • wow what an insult! mel gibson is fantastic and his career is too! he gets tons of job everyday tons of offer. hte had to cnacel 3 movies making in 2010 due to the law case, and could only made one of them form march to june 2010, after he had ot be in court.. but he was to start shooting in june 2010 a movie as a spion and in september 2010 to make a movie about the viking., those 2 had to be ditched thus he had already signed the contract for the spion movie.. as soon as this case is out, he will be working as always and even more thna ever. Mel Gibson out?? are oyu out of your mind? He is more popualr than ever. All movie directors that count wants him as primary cast they want him in their movie for all kind of reasons: he make a movie fantastic even its a c or d listed movie he make it into an A by his cheer talent alone, and anyone acting wiht him get alos to looks bettr even if thir acting sklills are desastrous. and he is fnatastic to can launch any neew acotr and actrress who co-qct with him.
      and of course he sells liek warm bread ever since he stared in mad max. .. 35 years ago..

  6. I will in no way be seeing this. If they go anywhere with the franchise, it has to be LW5. I never went to see the A-Team movie for the same reason (to see them ruin my childhood memories).

    • Actually The A Team wasn’ too bad. But it shared very little tonal similarities with the tv show or copy any of its stories.

  7. Imagine all the people who’ve been told there’s a new Lethal Weapon movie and they come in fully expecting to see Mel Gibson and Danny Glover.

    This is a bad idea.

  8. What writers and directors need to start doing is protecting their creative properties, if this abysmal trend continues, yes there have been some good remakes ( The Fly, The Thing) but the majority are bad. Souless money making machines that take no care for creativity.

    • The Hollywood machine needs to be nuked.

      • Something needs to change. There are new, original film makers out there, Duncan Jones, Neill Blomkamp. But they are never the people given the big budgets, studios use their own in house people to do scripts, and when these kinds of directors do get to the top like say Jon Faverau, the studio force creative decisions on them and ruin their films.

        • Remember that writer’s strike a few years ago? It’s good to see the quality has improved since then. :| I still say the powers who decide what movie to make next should spent more time in a library and less time in front of a TV.

      • yeah!

  9. Two Words to explain my pessimism on their reboot of a classic buddy movie.

    Miami Vice

    • Right on. Well put. That film was a disgrace to the Miami Vice name.

      No re-made Lethal Weapon for me, thanks.

    • Exactly!!
      This is a really bad idea.

      Doing LW 5 with the original cast, I’d be okay with. Seeing Riggs and Murtaugh(sp?) onscreen together again can only be done with Gibson and Glover.

  10. BADDDDD idea…either give Gibson and Glover another run at it all leave this franchise alone. This is going to be your generic cop movie, only diff will be that they will be using the names Briggs and Mertah(spelling wrong I know). What’s next rush hour reboot?

    • No, they tend to only reboot good movies :)

    • Briggs?? Martin RIGGS, Roger Murtaugh

  11. ohhhh, my head. It’s really starting to pound now. Hollywood is dying a slow death and we’re here to see them slide into the tar pits.

  12. Warner Bros, NO! NO don’t do it!

  13. All I can say to this is….NO! I’m sick of reboots and remakes, do something original for once. I mean is Hollywood really THAT lazy. Oh wait. I can answer my own question. YES, Hollywoods IS that lazy.

  14. I’m gonna just ignore this altogether, it’s a classic and it isint even out-dated so i’m not gonna bother with a reboot

  15. This news is so disappointing. Its going to be total and utter sh€&. I will not accept anyone else as Riggs and Murtaugh. I was holding out hope for LW 5. This is crap news.

  16. This is a great idea! Get Robert Pattinson & Taylor Lautner to star in it, Michael Bay or Bret Ratner directing… I can’t keep a straight face anymore…
    I liked this the first time I saw it when it was called Every Other Buddy Cop Movie.

    • …leave Murtaugh and Riggs alone. .Their characters aren’t old enough for this $#!t…to paraphrase…

  17. You know that the people in Hollywood dont read the comments on sites like these, when they say we want to give the public what they want but they give us stupid ideas like this…

    So let me guess Hollywood, after you trash this icon what next? Die Hard? There is no need to re-imagine classics for the younger generation to see them. Make them watch the originals and you make original films, simple as that.

    • to Seth the Bigfoot:

      Exactly! I’ll make sure to buy all those classics in DVD or Blu-Ray to watch with my kids when they’re old enough. No need to butcher them.

      Somewhere along the way they’ll try to reboot Back to the Future or The Godfather, and the fans will burn Hollywood to the ground.

  18. You conveniently forgot to mention that Glover has come out of the closet as a total left wing Marxist nut in love with dictators such as Castro and Chavez. I would not pay a dime to see him in a movie again. Don’t think his box office draw is very good at the moment.

    • blame lethal weapon 2 for that.. back into the south africa gov wiht antiracial politic and apartheid.. that how it started for Murthaugh and Glover..Sp who said a movie couldnt influence an actor’s life in more than one way? He became that while Mel begin drinking and going craze LOL
      Beside better be left winged in USA than scientologist in USA.. if oyu follow what i mean. Scientologist´s are far more dictatorial and tyranic thna any chavez nor castro. btw who care of castro now a day?

    • But what does that have to do with acting? Would you not see The Color Purple just because Glover is in it? I don’t agree with some of Gibson’s sensibilities but I love most of his films.

    • I don’t see the difference betweeen Glover and obama.

      He’s also a total left wing Marxist nut in love with dictators.

  19. There really is a dearth of original ideas now isn’t there…

  20. Wow, this ruined my day. I’m really getting tired of reboots and remakes. Ever since Batman got rebooted mostly every franchise had to do the same. It’s really annoying and unnessecary. Screw this

  21. Yet another reboot / remake it seems studios willing to recycle just about anything these days. Just waiting for Clint Eastwood to get the call to reprise his role as Dirty Harry.

    Great points though, Chris on the influence of the first film.

    The reason for it’s impact was that it was black character who was the more respected civilian as opposed to the white character who was the outcast and seen as a menace to society. The relationship between Riggs and Murtaugh is built purely on respect, racial indifference is never an issue (unlike 48hrs or Rush Hour for example, which used it repeatedly for comic relief) that’s what makes their chemistry so special.

    Despite the series descending into comedy with each entry, I have a fondness for these films – will be buying the Blu Ray set soon. All films had thier funny moments but one of the best is in the 3rd film where Riggs is teaching Murtagh the roundhouse kick but delibrately psoitions him so that when he attempts it, he kicks the water bottle – absolute classic.

    Which makes such a pain that they’re even thinking of a reboot. The 4th film had all the elements of a swansong – particularly with the end credits. If it did happen it would need to begin with two new characters with both Gibson and Glover making small cameo appearances at best, that’s the only way it could work.

    Or they could just stop now and try doing SOMETHING ORIGINAL.

    • Well the 4th WAS a Swansong.

  22. There is no way they can do this!

    First mel is going to do a lethal weapon 5 with danny glover and RIchard donner. MEl anf Gloover had a one week meeting at mels home last year in march to discuss this and make some shooting too.
    It will be doen by Icon production and warner bros wil be out and THATS ALL WHAT THE STORY IS ABOUT.
    WARNER BROS CAN DIG THAT MEL HAS GONE SOLO WITH ICON AND CONSIDER IT AS BEING AN INTRUDER EATING THEIR PIE! and warner bros want to can eat it all alone wiht the 94% of the moive distriubution marked they own in USA and abroad!
    But Mels icon disrtribution begin also ot eat at that pie so warner bros became seriosuly anoyed by mel gibson and therefor has put him inseriosu trouble in the past eyars starting in 2004 when Mel Gibson started his icon production and became more rich and famous than ever, they fouht him back wiht image destruction in grand scale.. as it didnt slowed him down muhc an dhe was mang a new movie apocalypto they had it arranged for TMZ to publish soem eroneous faulse copy of a DUI arrest who do not match the original one at th epolice station, but who served well to destroy mel gibsons mage and brand him as antisemite! TMZ IS NOW AND SINCE LATE 2006 CO-OWNED BY WARNER BROS.. SEE NO COENCIDENCE IN THAT.
    Then as Mel Gibson bouhgt a movie distribution in australia in 2007 and england in 2008 as wella smusic studio in late 2008, warner bros went bazarck! And in 2009 begin the scandal chain on Mle gibson who had to sell back in novemebr 2009 the same distribution company in england that he had bought ealrier that same year!! and who was suposed to distribute his movies aboard! OUT OF WARNER BROS OWN DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM., THEY WANT HIM DEAD OR ALIVE.. and cynicaly mel had to do the add fro edge of darkness all tutored by warner bros…in dec 2009, jan fevbruar and amrch 2010.. right when more stinking things were looming as Mel was making add in ealry ferbaury about a ocming viking movie of his own and dang! a oksan case falled on his lap.. right as he was about ot coem up again..
    No coinecidence either.
    Mel Gibson refused to do the lethal weapon 5 becuse warner bros is doing this ot him and he dont like all the sh,it that warner has been doing on him, thus makign already so muchmoney on his name alone!.
    A Lethal Weapon 5 will be wiht Richard dfonner and mel gibson or will not be at all.


    There is more ot this thna met eyes, and i can tel oyu that tabloids stuff only reflect the surface of what realy lie under all that anti mel campaign who has gone form slowly dislike to outward war and hatress agaisnt him wiping up the fire of hate with flame as high as could be.

    I agree with Chris Schrader, we are too old for this sh.it and far too wise too!

    We want lethal weapon YES! with Gibson and Gloover, Murthaugh and Riggs, not with bananarama warner bros and co.


    • Wow, I had a rough time reading your comment dude….

      • He was really passionate about what he was speaking about. Sans the typo’s and all caps. He has a bit of a point from what I gathered from the comment.

        • I get that, but he could have cleaned it up a bit lol.

    • they cant just shoot a lethal weapon movie without warner brothers, warner brothers owns the rights to the name and the characters. they would be sued before they even stepped foot in front of a camera. sorry sir, not going to happen.

  23. No, no, no. There is no way Lethal Weapon would work without Gibson & Glover.

    *Throws hands up*

  24. I’m really, truly, honestly too old for this #@!*.

    • Would never watch a remake of these films plz dont make this

  25. They F#@! ya with the Remakes!!

  26. I first saw “Lethal Weapon 3″ in theaters when I was thirteen. Long story short, it wasn’t what I was expecting from an R-rated cop movie; it had heart. The scene that really got to me was Riggs practically breaking down on Rog’s boat, telling him “You’re the only family I got!” That’s stuck with me ever since.

    I don’t give a damn how much swearing and killing are in the new movie; if it doesn’t have heart, then it doesn’t have me.

  27. I can understand some reboots of comic book movies, but this is just wrong. Gibson and Glover made that movie series. It would be best if they made a buddy comedy with different character names names and a different movie title. Lethal Weapon is Gibson’s and Glover’s baby only-period.

  28. WOW!!!! why don’t u just go ahead and make a Die Hard or Blade Runner remake while your at it :( and ruin everything Iconic.

  29. I would go. To the movie theather and watch it and buy it to add to my dvd collection!!