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Lethal Weapon Franchise to Be Rebooted

Although there have been rumors about a fifth Lethal Weapon for some time, there's never been a point when Mel Gibson has agreed to do it. Now, of course, there won't be a point where the studio would want to do it with him. However, Deadline is reporting that a reboot is in the works.
Offers the report, "Warner Bros and producer Joel Silver have set Will Beall to write Lethal Weapon, with a take that will relaunch the buddy cop series with a new cast. Beall, a former LA police officer who patrolled South Central and wrote the novel L.A. Rex, has seen his stock rise at the studio because of his script Gangster Squad, the period crime drama about an elite crime squad that fought against organized crime kingpins like Mickey Cohen. Zombieland helmer Ruben Fleischer has come aboard to direct that film. Warner Bros has been messing around for some time with Lethal Weapon 5, with a treatment written by original scribe Shane Black. The plan was to bring the original team back, but schedules didn't match up and Mel Gibson's image has taken a self-inflicted beating. Beall pitched a take that maintains the tone of the original--a hard R-rated edgy street cop movie."

A bit of history:

"There has been talk of a fifth Lethal Weapon film, although both Mel Gibson and Danny Glover have expressed disinterest. In 2007, received word from sources that Warner Bros. are in the early stages of trying to relaunch the Lethal Weapon series sometime in 2009 or later [1]. A spec script treatment has been written by Shane Black [2], leading to rumors that the sequel was on fast track by Warner Bros. with Black in the director's chair. Actor Columbus Short said he was being considered for the role of Murtaugh's son.[3] Director Richard Donner is not involved with these plans, but he has his own ideas for a Lethal Weapon 5. According to the LA Times, Gibson has refused to reprise his role as Martin Riggs for the fifth time, which Donner thinks is out of personal loyalty because Donner is not involved.[4] Joel Silver later confirmed Gibson’s lack of interest in the project.[5] "We talked about it, but it was something that Mel didn't want to do now," he explained. "It doesn't mean that he doesn't want to do it ever, but as of right now, he doesn't."


So why has Lethal Weapon 5 not been offered to Donner – and will Mel Gibson star in the film? The answer is simple enough.

Several years ago Donner and Silver had a falling out, and it would appear that time has not healed the wounds. As Black now appears to be Silver’s new protégé (would you go near the Wachowskis again after Speed Racer?) it is the logical choice that he replaces Donner in the director’s chair – after all he did write the original movie.

Apparently the production now hinges of Gibson’s involvement (obviously), but will he want to make the film when his friend and mentor (the pair have made six films) has been sidelined? Well, we all know that money talks in Hollywood, and I’m sure that a huge paycheck will be used to sway the actor – his salary for Lethal Weapon 4 in 1998 was a reported $35 million, so expect an increase on that!

If the film does go ahead, expect Riggs and Murtaugh to be aided by a pair of young New York Cops (why not LA?).

I’m not too sure about this one anymore, but if somebody is going to replace Donner then I’m glad that it’s Black, but will he have the magic to make Lethal Weapon 5 a worthy sequel?

What do you think of the Lethal Weapon series in general, and what do you think of them rebooting it with a new cast? Sound off below.
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