Lethal Weapon creator Shane Black has never watched the TV spinoff. Black (The Predator) wrote the original Lethal Weapon when he was only 23, and the script’s combination of witty dialogue and action set pieces saw it get snapped up by Warner Bros. Richard Donner helmed the movie, and the onscreen chemistry between stars Danny Glover and Mel Gibson saw it become a major hit.
Black returned to pen a script for Lethal Weapon 2, which was ultimately rewritten. Black’s first draft was much darker and even featured Riggs dying of his wounds in the finale. The studio wanted a lighter tone – and the possibility of more sequels – so it was reworked. Black has nothing to do with parts 3 and 4, which became noticeably goofier in tone, with Lethal Weapon 4 in particular feeling like a big budget sitcom with occasional explosions. A TV version arrived in 2016 with Clayne Crawford as Riggs and Damon Wayans – who previously starred in the Black scripted buddy comedy The Last Boy Scout – as Murtaugh.
Fans didn’t expect much from the show, but Lethal Weapon proved to be a surprisingly solid ratings performer. The show has suffered a fair amount of behind the scenes drama, however, with clashes between co-stars Wayans and Crawford eventually leading to the latter being fired, and replaced with Seann William Scott’s new character. The new season airs this month, but Black revealed to Digital Spy recently he’s never watched the show.
I will be entirely upfront with you: I have not watched a full episode of the show, so I can't speak to whether or not the first guy was great. I just didn't watch it. It's a TV cop show. Maybe it's great. I'm happy it's doing well. I do get a cheque every now and again. But please, let's cast – I don't know – anybody in the role. A talking penguin? I don't care. I'll get a cheque.
Black has been plenty busy on The Predator the last couple of years, so it's somewhat understandable that catching up on the Lethal Weapon TV series hasn’t been high on his list of priorities. Black actually developed a Lethal Weapon 5 script in 2008, which would have found Riggs and Murtaugh fighting mercenaries in New York during a snowstorm. Black would have directed this script, but it seems Gibson and Glover’s loyalty to Richard Donner prevented it from moving forward.
Donner himself has been talking of a fifth and final Lethal Weapon movie for a couple of years, and while prospects of it sounded bleak at one point, it appears the project is still alive. In the meantime, fans are waiting to see how season 3 of Lethal Weapon fares with a new leading man. The new season will only run for 13 episodes, so it seems Fox is hedging their bets on the show’s future.
Source: Digital Spy