Mel Gibson In Talks to Direct & Star in ‘Lethal Weapon 5’


After starring in the first four films, Lethal Weapon star Mel Gibson may be setting his sights on the directing chair for the next installment in the franchise. According to Deadline, over the weekend during an interview in London, Gibson let it slip that he was looking at directing Lethal Weapon 5, and sources close to him have now said he is in talks to direct and star, though no deal has closed.


The last time audiences spent time with Riggs and Murtaugh was way, way back in 1998’s Lethal Weapon 4, with the movie grossing more than $285 million at the box office. Clearly, HBO Max are confident that they can continue the success of the franchise without a big screen release, using the iconic property to further increase their streaming output. This move towards a streaming release for Lethal Weapon 5 does not come as too much of a surprise, with the ongoing global situation pushing many tentpole releases out of theaters and into our homes thanks to the emergence of a wide variety of platforms, each of them striving to be the best.


The first Lethal Weapon introduced audiences to the loveable pair of mismatched LAPD detectives, Martin Riggs, a former Green Beret who has become suicidal following the death of his wife, and Roger Murtaugh, a 50-year-old veteran of the force who is getting too old for this. Played by Mel Gibson and Danny Glover respectively, the duo became instant icons of the genre, with the franchise spawning several sequels and bringing in the likes of Joe Pesci, Rene Russo, Jet Li, and Chris Rock along the way.


Gibson steps in for Richard Donner, who died this past July and had been developing a possible sequel with Gibson over the years. After Donner’s passing, Gibson saw it right to continue the development of the film as a proper tribute to his friend and the late director of the franchise.


“The man who directed all the Lethal films, Richard Donner, he was a big guy,” Gibson said during the Q&A at ‘An Experience with Mel Gibson’ in London. “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.’ But he did indeed pass away.”

The film would be developed for HBO Max as the service continues to build up its slate of feature films that would premiere on the streamer. Not much else is known about the film at this time. 

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Christina Wiggins

Nerd culture is my life, but I make most of my living reporting on entertainment news and rumors. When I'm not writing, I speak in pictures. Check out my insta here!