It has been nearly a year since we last received an update regarding Lethal Weapon 5. Lead star and director Mel Gibson has finally opened up about the long-in-development project. Speaking with ScreenRant, Gibson confirmed that the fifth installment’s production got further delayed due to the Warner Bros. Discovery merger. However, despite the recent project cancellations brought upon by the new management, the Oscar winner is confident that Lethal Weapon 5 will get back on track.
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“The only delay is now with all the shake-up at Warners, with Discovery coming in and the new boss [David Zaslav],” Gibson said. “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.”
In addition, Gibson also teased that they have “a really good screenplay” lined up for the upcoming film. “They had a really good template,” the actor-filmmaker shared. “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.”
Before his death in 2021, Richard Donner was originally attached to return to the action franchise to direct Gibson and Danny Glover once again for Lethal Weapon 5. Soon after, Gibson stepped in to take his place as the project’s new director. This was done with the blessing of Lauren Shuler Donner, the wife of the late filmmaker. Dan Lin of Rideback is set to produce the film alongside Shuler Donner, with Gibson also now attached as a producer.
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The Lethal Weapon franchise began in 1987 and has since spawned four films, the last being Lethal Weapon 4 way back in 1998. That film ultimately grossed $285 million at the box office (against a massive $100-150 million budget) but scored lukewarm reviews and reactions from critics and audiences alike.