Warner Bros. has been trying to continue its popular Lethal Weapon franchise for years, with development on a reboot of the property dating back to 2011. The project seemed to be gaining some traction last year when it was reported that star Chris Hemsworth and director Justin Lin were in line to join forces, but all has been quiet on that front since.
However, WB may have just found a way to revive the property - by taking it to the small screen. Joining the growing list of movies-turned-TV shows (see: Minority Report, Limitless), a television reboot of Lethal Weapon is in the works to air on Fox.
THR broke the news, saying that Matt Miller (Forever, Chuck) will write and executive produce under his Good Session banner. Also executive producing are Dan Lin (The LEGO Movie, Sherlock Holmes) and Jennifer Gwartz. Lethal Weapon will reunite Miller and Lin, who previously worked together on Forever. They're sure to be hoping for better luck this time around, as Forever was canceled after just one season.
Longtime Lethal Weapon fans may be put off by the notion that the original filmmakers (director Richard Donner and producer Joel Silver) are not going to be involved, but sources say that they have "blessed" the TV reboot, meaning that they have essentially signed off on the idea. If they think it's worthy of the Lethal Weapon tradition, that's a positive sign in terms of its potential quality.
Though it's too early to talk about cast members, THR did have details about the premise. Like the films, the new show will focus on Texas cop and former Navy SEAL Martin Riggs, who moves to Los Angeles to start his life anew following the death of his wife and baby. As you might expect, he eventually gets teamed up with veteran family man officer Roger Murtaugh, who must avoid stress in his life after suffering a minor heart attack. Of course, being paired with a loose cannon like Riggs is anything but a relaxing time.
The series won't get any points for originality, but it may be best if it doesn't try to overhaul the formula. The original Lethal Weapon film is considered one of the more groundbreaking entries in the genre and a pioneer of the buddy cop concept. It was one of the highest-grossing films of 1987 (making $120 million worldwide) and spawned three successful sequels, which combined to bring in about $835 million globally. There hasn't been a Lethal Weapon movie since 1998, but it has maintained a large following since its inception and brand recognition remains high. Chances are the series can attract a sizable audience.
Since it's just been announced, there's no word on when the Lethal Weapon series might premiere. The next priority will most likely be finding the new Riggs and Murtaugh, as the actors and their chemistry will go a long way in determining the show's longterm success. And considering Mel Gibson and Danny Glover were such an iconic duo in action movie lore, that task is easier said than done.
We'll keep you updated on the development of the Lethal Weapon TV show.