Mel Gibson will be directing the fifth film in the Lethal Weapon franchise, which he has starred in alongside Danny Glover since the first film back in 1987.
Word came from the mouth of the Oscar winner himself, who shared the news during an “Experience With…” event (pictured in the tweet below) that took place in London over the weekend.
As per The Sun, Gibson told the audience that the late Richard Donner, who directed all four Lethal Weapon films, had been “developing the screenplay and he got pretty far along with it.” Gibson said that Donner had told him, “‘Listen, Kid, if I kick the bucket, you will do it.’” Not wanting to think of the negative, Gibson said he’d told him to “shut up”.
Well… “He did indeed pass away,” Gibson said. “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. So, I will be directing the fifth one.”
Donner, who passed in July at the age of 91, had indeed been working on the fifth film in the long-running franchise. Various screenwriters had been attached at different times, with The Equalizer (Denzel Washington) and The Mechanic (Jason Statham) scribe Richard Wenk credited with the most recent draft.
THR reports that handing the reins to Gibson “had been in the works for months and was blessed, if not instigated, by Lauren Shuler Donner, the wife of Richard Donner”.
No official word as of yet on who will be writing the script for Lethal Weapon 5, nor whether Glover has signed on to co-star with Gibson. There’s also the question as to when the new chapter could be heading into production, considering Gibson’s busy schedule. Gibson has a slew of projects on the way, with roles of various sizes, including John Wick prequel series The Continental, boxing drama Stu (with Mark Wahlberg), and action-thriller Waldo (with Charlie Hunnam). Gibson had also been looking to make a sequel to The Passion of the Christ, although there’s been no word on that of late.
Gibson’s previous pictures as director: The Man Without a Face, Braveheart, The Passion of the Christ, Apocalypto, and Hacksaw Ridge.
What a night! @AnExpWith put on a world leading show, and Mel revealed EXCLUSIVELY that he will be directing Lethal Weapon 5 quite soon. He got emotional – fighting tears – talking about the late Richard Donner, who had asked Mel if he would take the reigns if he died. pic.twitter.com/Sq21EhACU8
— Mel Gibson (@MelGibsonFilms) November 14, 2021