Richard Donner Doubtful Lethal Weapon 5 Will Happen Now

Lethal Weapon 5 would-be director Richard Donner is worried the movie may not happen after all. The original Lethal Weapon became an instant classic of the buddy cop genre, where two mismatched partners (played by Danny Glover and Mel Gibson) are forced to work together to solve a case. The chemistry between the two actors and the slick action scenes made it a hit with audiences back in 1987, resulting in a further three sequels.

Lethal Weapon 4 was intended as a finale to the franchise, but the notion of another installment was briefly revived in 2008 when Shane Black - who wrote the first two movies - signed on as director; however, a lack of interest from Gibson and Glover killed the project. Talk of Lethal Weapon 5 started again in 2017, with Donner, Gibson and Glover all confirmed talks were taking place, and things looked hopeful.

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Unfortunately, Donner didn’t seem as optimistic during a new interview on Nerdist podcast Maltin On Movies, where he revealed that while he stills want to make the movie, negotiations with the studio are proving difficult:

And I’m ready to do 5. It’s called Lethal Finale. It’s very dark. And we were all set to go and now Warner Bros. is doing their old-fashioned tricks. Not Warner Bros., there’s this guy who runs the studio who’s great but they have these people in the legal department who do the negotiating in the most counter-productive way. They should be sent to a studio and work with the producers and directors and actors, and learn what makes a film, and then negotiate. But it’s just embarrassing.

Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon 2

The director then went on to describe the tone of the planned film, which seems to be a return to the darker roots of the original:

And it’s too bad, because there’s a wonderful writer named Channing Gibson, who wrote 4 for me, and we have a really great story. It IS dark. But I wanted to end it on an emotional note, and I don’t think it’s gonna happen.

While his last statement sounds a little bleak, the director is still hopeful the movie will go ahead after all. It would be a shame if Lethal Weapon 5 didn’t happen after it came so close to a green light; even in the weaker entries of the franchise, the comedic chemistry between Glover and Gibson shined through. Lethal Weapon 4 was also something of a flat note to end on the series on, so one more sequel to give Riggs and Murtaugh a proper finale would be welcomed by fans.

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Lethal Weapon was also revived as a television series in 2016, with neither Donner nor any of the original cast or crew involved. While it hasn’t enjoyed the acclaim of the film series, the show has since carved out a fanbase of its own, and the second season is currently airing on Fox.

Source: Maltin On Movies

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