It has been a few years since Mel Gibson first announced that Lethal Weapon 5 was in consideration. Since then, not much has changed in the status of the buddy-cop sequel, which was said to be once again starring Gibson and Danny Glover once again being too old for the kind of shenanigans they get involved in. While in the years since Gibson first hinted at the belated sequel, original Lethal Weapon helmer Richard Donner passed away and Gibson himself stepped up to take on the directing role. Now while discussing thriller Bandit, Gibson gave an encouraging update to Screen Rant. He said:
“It’s [coming along] great, we’ve got a really good screenplay that I developed. Well, Donner developed it, Richard Donner, of course, developed it with Richard Wenk, and they had a really good template. I had the honor of sitting down, after Richard passed away, with the writer and doing a couple more drafts and trying to do it in the spirit of what we thought Donner might [want], because I knew the guy so well. We tried to get that flavor, and we were pretty happy with what we came up with. The only delay is now with all the shake-up at Warners, with Discovery coming in and the new boss, and they chop everyone else up and throw them away and get new people. It always takes time for these companies to regroup, so that’s been a delay, but I’m pretty confident we’ll get this one up on its feet, probably shoot it in the first quarter of the New Year.”
Lethal Weapon 5 Could Have Become A Casualty of The Warner Bros. Discovery Merger
As a movie that seemed like perfect material for HBO Max, the Warner Bros. Discovery merger could have sealed the fate of Lethal Weapon 5 before it even got off the ground. However, with other sequels such as Evil Dead Rise and DC movie Blue Beetle being shifted to theatrical releases this could now be the way the Mel Gibson fronted movie is released.
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The main concern around the movie for the studio is whether there will be enough interest in a new Lethal Weapon film to warrant a theatrical release. With 80s and 90s nostalgia at an all-time-high, it could be one of the only chances Warner Bros. Discovery have to try and cash in on the fad before it passes.
Of course, all of that is something for the future, as until the cameras start rolling it is always possible that the plug could be pulled on the film at any point. However, Gibson seems to be as sure as anyone can be about filming getting underway early in 2023. If that is the case then we could see Riggs and Murtaugh back on the case one final time in 2024. For those who need a reminder of the previous outings of the odd pairing, the first four Lethal Weapon movies are available on HBO Max.