With the success of Bad Boys for Life, we have been reminded of the joys of what buddy cop movies are supposed to be like. Combining crime-solving, action, hefty doses of comedy, and the contrasting personalities of the partners that make their differing views and approaches to life entertaining, it can be a delight to watch when movies get it right. And arguably the most influential modern example of buddy cop films was the Lethal Weapon series which turned the genre into what we see today.
The four films released between 1987 and 1998 saw Mel Gibson and Danny Glover play two polar opposite cops assigned to work together to fight dangerous criminals in Los Angeles. Gibson’s reckless Ex-Navy SEAL Martin Riggs tended to throw caution to the wind and loved the thrill of the fight whereas Glover’s Detective Roger Murtaugh was a family man who just wanted to stay alive long enough to see retirement. The combination (thanks to the electrifying chemistry of its actors) made for great comedy with some memorable action scenes shot along the way.
And now it looks like they’re be coming back for a fifth time, as revealed by producer Dan Lin during a roundtable discussion with The Hollywood Reporter about The Two Popes. And according to Lin, the whole band is getting back together, including 90-year old director Richard Donner who helmed all four of the previous films.
We’re trying to make the last Lethal Weapon movie. And Dick Donner’s coming back. The original cast is coming back. And it’s just amazing. The story itself is very personal to him. Mel and Danny are ready to go, so it’s about the script.
It’s unclear what script Lin is referring to here. Filmmaker Shane Black started out his career by penning the original Lethal Weapon film, and had considered returning to the franchise again. In 2008, he wrote a spec script, prompting rumours that he would helm a proposed Lethal Weapon 5, but the production never got off the ground. There’s no mention here of Black’s involvement though.
It’s been over 20 years since Lethal Weapon 4, but now much like Bad Boys for Life, or arguably because of it, Lethal Weapon 5 is back on the table. Perhaps Hollywood studios have been reminded of the potential these films have at the box office and want to feed off the nostalgia of fans as well, to hopefully make even more money. If they can somehow get an ageing Gibson, Glover, and Donner to resurrect their magic for the big screen though, then sign me up.
Last Updated: January 29, 2020