Lethal Weapon 5 is real close to a studio greenlight, according to director Richard Donner. The original Lethal Weapon was a groundbreaking film in the buddy cop genre and followed two mismatched partners as they worked together to solve a dangerous case. The chemistry between Danny Glover and Mel Gibson is what made the film a hit, but it also had a great script by Shane Black and taut direction from Donner.
Donner would go on to direct three sequels, but while the chemistry between the two leads remained strong, the series formula was a little creaky and outdated by the time 1998’s Lethal Weapon 4 came around. Talk of a fifth movie has cropped up over the years but always seemed to quickly die away again, but it now looks like Lethal Weapon 5 may actually happen.
Related: Lethal Weapon 5 Is Back On Track
Richard Donner gave an in-depth career retrospective interview with Spocklight: A Star Trek Podcast (via Den of Geek), where he revealed Lethal Weapon 5 is almost a certainty at this stage, stating “As of right now, we are inches away from getting the go-ahead to doing the final five.”
Donner didn’t reveal any potential plot details but mentioned that he's had the basic idea in mind for years:
It’s a story I came up with with Channing Gibson, the writer who wrote 4, and I’m just having to work it out with the studio. If everybody steps up and we all get together, we’ll make it. Mel and Danny are on board. If it doesn’t work out, at least we tried. But there’s a good chance that you’ll see the movie.
While the movie is currently waiting for a greenlight from the studio, Donner makes it sound like it’s basically a done deal at this point. Shane Black was actually attached as director to a potential Lethal Weapon 5 in 2008, which would have found Riggs and Murtaugh fighting mercenaries in New York during a huge blizzard. Donner wasn’t attached to this version of the movie, however, which apparently led to the cast turning it down.
Gibson had previously ruled out ever making a fifth Lethal Weapon, and felt the franchise had run its course. That said, the star has made something of a comeback in recent years thanks to the success of Hacksaw Ridge and Daddy’s Home 2, so returning to a beloved franchise wouldn’t be the worst move career-wise. The Lethal Weapon TV series has also brought the franchise back to audience’s attention, so it feels like if a fifth movie is ever going to happen with the original crew, then now’s the time.
We’ll keep you updated on Lethal Weapon 5 as more information arrives.