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Mel Gibson Shares Lethal Weapon 5 Script & Possible Filming Update

After years of languishing in development hell, Lethal Weapon 5 has gotten a hopeful update from Mel Gibson. The buddy cop action-comedy franchise is considered one of the two big projects that helped launch Gibson into stardom, alongside his role in the post-apocalyptic Mad Max movie series. Gibson starred in Lethal Weapon as Detective Martin Riggs, a narcotics detective with suicidal tendencies following the death of his wife who is partnered with veteran homicide detective Roger Murtaugh and slowly breaks out of his shell with each new case they investigate.


Though not the first in its genre, the original Lethal Weapon movie is largely considered to be what helped popularize the buddy cop formula, with its critical acclaim and box office success spawning a franchise including three direct sequels and a TV reboot starring Damon Wayans and Clayne Crawford and Murtaugh and Riggs. Plans for a Lethal Weapon 5 have swirled for years, with original director Richard Donner’s death nearly derailing the project until Gibson stepped up to direct on a script from The Equalizer and The Magnificent Seven‘s Richard Wenk. With nearly a year gone since it was confirmed Gibson would be taking over the director’s chair, audiences are getting an exciting bit of news for the long-awaited Lethal Weapon 5.

Related: Every Richard Donner Movie Ranked From Worst to Best

While speaking exclusively with Screen Rant to discuss the true crime thriller Bandit, Mel Gibson offered a hopeful Lethal Weapon 5 update. Though noting the recent shakeups at Warner Bros. following the Discovery merger has led to its delay, Gibson expressed confidence in getting the sequel off the ground and teased a potential filming start window for the project. See what Gibson shared below:

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.

As Gibson notes, the Warner Bros. Discovery merger has seen a number of major shakeups at the studio, including the infamous shelving of the DC Extended Universe Batgirl movie and Scoob! 2, both of which were essentially complete. Given new studio CEO David Zaslav has directed his focus towards making up the $3 billion in debt he inherited after the merger, a number of his decisions have been explained as trying to direct WBD’s attention back towards theatrical projects and moving away from former CEO Toby Emmerich’s push to develop HBO Max as a contender in the ongoing streaming war. With some reports indicating Lethal Weapon 5 would be developed for the streaming platform, and its elongated development cycle, many have understandably expressed concern at the film getting off the ground.

In spite of these concerns, Gibson’s Lethal Weapon 5 update should come as promising news for fans of the franchise eager to see a proper finale for Riggs and Murtaugh. With his confidence in the project moving forward and even possibly beginning shooting in early 2023, a greenlight for the film could even see Lethal Weapon 5 hit theaters as early as 2024 if the studio pushes for such in the same vein as Evil Dead Rise and Magic Mike 3. In the meantime, audiences can revisit the original Lethal Weapon movies streaming on HBO Max now.

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