Mel Gibson Ditches Lethal Weapon 5, Leaves it Dead in the Water
One of the movies on the reboot slate that has gained quite of bit attention is Lethal Weapon 5. First, it was confirmed that Kiss Kiss Bang Bang screenwriter Shane Black had written the script, then it was confirmed that Columbus Short was attached to star and that Warner Brothers was fast tracking the project. But an update today from director Richard Donner over at the LA Times kills any more speculation about its progress in the studio. Donner claims that "Mel turned it down." He's talking about Mel Gibson, who plays Officer Riggs and is the same actor that Donner directed in all four Lethal Weapon movies in addition to Conspiracy Theory and Maverick. Without Mel Gibson, this probably won't happen at all, right?
Donner explains that the problem is WB ended up choosing Joel Silver to produce the project instead of him. And in turn, Gibson didn't take an interest without him. "I would like to think that Mel turned it down because I wasn't involved. Knowing Mel, I would like to think that. Would that be the kind of thing he does? It sure would be." I don't presume to know Richard Donner or Mel Gibson, but that sounds a bit pretentious. Donner adds: "It's too bad, actually, because Channing Gibson, who wrote the fourth one, and Mike Riva, a designer on three of them, and myself and Derek [Hoffman, an associate at The Donner Company] had an incredibly strong story for the fifth movie. But we weren't given the opportunity and I think maybe I could have convinced Mel to do it. But Warners chose to go with Joel Silver."
So the plot thickens. And what does Donner say of the project on a whole now? "Yes, the project is pretty much dead in the water unless someone had the sense to come to me." Every other journalist seems to be reporting this news only as Gibson leaving, with hope that it'll still get made. So who knows? There's a lot more that Donner says if you're curious to read it over at the LA Times. Despite this reboot has received quite a bit of attention, it wasn't necessarily positive buzz. We've already seen four Lethal Weapon movies, with the last one being a good finale, so why make a fifth one? Is this really the "right time" to go back and revisit that franchise? Would anyone even want to see another one without Mel Gibson?