It’s safe to say at this point that Lethal Weapon 5 will never happen. Especially now that a new TV show with a completely different cast is on its way this fall from Fox. But that wasn’t always the case. At one point, before It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia decided to make their own Lethal Weapon 5, Warner Bros. was keen on moving forward with the sequel. And it would have prominently featured the return of original Lethal Weapon stars Mel Gibson and Danny Glover.
Shane Black, who is out promoting his third feature film as director with The Nice Guys this weekend, was tasked with writing a story for Lethal Weapon 5. He created the characters of Riggs and Murtaugh, and wrote the original screenplay for the 1987 franchise starter. Many believed Lethal Weapon 5 would be used to introduce two new police detectives, as Gibson and Glover passed the baton on the series over to two new actors. But that wasn’t actually the case.
The canceled Lethal Weapon 5 would have featured the original actors in lead roles, albeit older than we remember. And in the first movie, way back in the late 80s, Glover was already decrying that he was ‘too old for this shit’. There was no new generation of cops. Thanks to The Playlist, we have Shane Black’s description of the story that he shared with The Nerdist’s Writer’s Panel podcast. Apparently, a 62-page treatment exists for this shelved final installment. And in the drawer is where it will likely stay for eternity. Says Black about the project.
“I wrote a 62-page treatment with my friend Chuck for “Lethal Weapon 5” that would’ve been, I think, a very good movie. It was interesting. It was essentially an older Riggs and Murtagh in New York City during the worst blizzard in east coast history, fighting a team of expert Blackwater guys from Afghanistan that’s smuggling antiquities. And we had a young character that actually counter-pointed them. But I didn’t wanna do what people do when they’re trying to transition which is, they sorta put the two older guys in the movie, but really it’s about their son! And he’s gonna take over and we’re gonna do a spinoff. Fuck that, if they’re gonna be in the movie, they’re gonna be in the movie – I don’t care how old they are.”
It’s speculated that Shane Black was planning another Christmas themed movie for Lethal Weapon 5, as hinted at by the blizzard. The man is known for setting his movies during this period of year. The first Lethal Weapon takes place in December, as do Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Iron Man 3. While we have the Lethal Weapon TV show to look forward to in the future, it’s very doubtful that another feature film starring the original leads will come to fruition. But there’s always a small glimmer of hope. If the show is a hit, that glimmer of hope will be thrown far off into the future, while the Lethal Weapon reboot script hides out in the dustbin of history.