Mel Gibson May Be Directing ‘Lethal Weapon 5’

Mel Gibson May Be Directing ‘Lethal Weapon 5’

In the wake of filmmaker Richard Donner’s death this past July, the popular Lethal Weapon franchise was left without a director. Now, it looks like Donner’s successor may have been found, in the form of series star Mel Gibson, according to Deadline. No deal has yet been made, but Gibson is in conversation to take over directing duties from Donner, who helmed all four existing movies in the franchise and was ninety-one years old before he died earlier this year.

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At a London event this past Sunday covered by The Sun, Gibson shared that “The man who directed all the Lethal films, Richard Donner, he was a big guy. He was developing the screenplay and he got pretty far along with it. And he said to me one day, ‘Listen, Kid, if I kick the bucket, you will do it.’ And I said, ‘Shut up.’ He did indeed pass away. But he did ask me to do it and, at the time I didn’t say anything. He said it to his wife and to the studio and the producer.

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So, I will be directing the fifth one.”

The latest script for the film, which will likely be the last installment in the franchise and begin production next year, comes from Richard Wenk. Gibson joins previously-announced producers Dan Lin from Rideback and Shuler Donner, and executive producers Jonathan Eirich from Rideback and Derek Hoffman from The Donners’ Company.

The first Lethal Weapon debuted in 1987, with sequels arriving after that in 1989, 1992, and 1998. Gibson and Danny Glover starred in all four action-comedy films as a mismatched pair of police officers. A TV series premiered on Fox in 2016 starring Clayne Crawford and Damon Wayans, but Crawford was replaced at the end of season two with Seann William Scott before the show was cancelled the following year.

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Gibson, who has courted controversy over the years for problematic statements he has made, is no stranger to directing. Following 1993’s The Man Without a Face, Gibson won the Oscar for Best Director for his work on Best Picture winner Braveheart in 1995. Gibson’s subsequent efforts behind the camera, The Passion of the Christ and Apocalypto, earned praise, and his most recent film as director, 2016’s Hacksaw Ridge, earned him another Academy Award nomination.

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