Mel Gibson, a great actor and not-so-great human being, has decided to remind us that Lethal Weapon 5 is still a very real possibility. The potential sequel to the action franchise has been running hot and cold for a few years now, with word surfacing in 2017 that original director Richard Donner was working with Gibson and co-star Danny Glover to get the film off the ground. By 2018, though, Donner changed his tune and said that the project was probably dead. But in January of this year, producer Dan Lin said that the sequel was going to happen. And now, Gibson seems to be affirming that.
Anytime I write a story about Mel Gibson I have to do a little song and dance at the beginning because it’s important. As an artist, I appreciate Gibson. I think he can deliver genuinely great performance. And I think he’s a damn good filmmaker – despite the backlash over the years. I still like Braveheart, and I think Apocalypto is fantastic. But Gibson is also, by all accounts, a rotten individual. I try very hard to separate the art from the artist in this business, but with Gibson, it’s difficult. He has a long history of abusive statements, but, to be fair, he’s also said in the past that he suffers from both alcoholism and manic depression.
Does that excuse his actions? No, not really – but it does offer a bit of an explanation. Still, there are many who believe that Gibson’s career should probably be over by now. But it’s clearly not – he has a new movie arriving this month called Fatman. Where he plays a gun-toting Santa Claus.
Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about Lethal Weapon 5. In 2017, word broke that Gibson, Danny Glover, and director Richard Donner were all discussing making Lethal Weapon 5 with Warner Bros. Talk of the potential sequel continued throughout the year, but by 2018, Donner had changed his tune, saying: “I wanted to end it on an emotional note, and I don’t think it’s gonna happen.” He also said the script was “very dark” and called Lethal Finale.
With that, it seemed like the sequel was dead, and all seemed quiet on the Lethal Weapon 5 front. But then, at the beginning of this year, producer Dan Lin said that the sequel was still in the works. “We’re trying to make the last Lethal Weapon movie,” Lin said. “And Dick Donner’s coming back. The original cast is coming back. And it’s just amazing. The story itself is very personal to him. Mel and Danny are ready to go, so it’s about the script.”
And now, here’s an update: it’s still happening, I guess? Mel Gibson recently appeared on Good Morning America and when asked if Lethal Weapon 5 was going to happen, he responded in the affirmative and said: “The man who was behind all that, the man who brought it to the screen and gave it its, the goodies, is working on it right now: Richard Donner. He’s a legend.”
So there you have it: somewhere out there, Richard Donner is still hammering away at getting Lethal Weapon 5 made. The sequel would bring back Gibson and Glover as mismatched cops Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh, and would almost certainly involve a scene where or both of these guys observe that they’re too old for this shit.