Based on what we heard from all of the key players involved prior to Richard Donner’s recent passing, a script for Lethal Weapon 5 exists. Danny Glover said the draft he read had the potential to be something extraordinary, while Mel Gibson confirmed late last year that the screenplay was being written.
Donner would be stepping behind the camera for the first time since 2006 Bruce Willis thriller 16 Blocks to helm the fifth installment in the buddy cop franchise, which would mark both the last outing for Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh, as well as the director’s final feature.
Sadly, that won’t be happening, but in a new interview Corey Feldman revealed he’d spoken to Gibson in the wake of Donner’s death, and The Goonies star had encouraged him to direct Lethal Weapon 5 himself.
One of the things Mel mentioned to me, because we started talking about Lethal Weapon 5 vs. Goonies 2 and that whole debacle, and I said I knew that there was no way he could have pulled off Lethal 5. Because, you know, he just didn’t have it in him. You can’t look at seven monitors at once and shoot seven cameras during these action sequences and watch every detail of everything when you’re 91 years old. It’s a lot of pressure.
God bless him, he was motivated and he would have shown up on set and done his very best, no question, but I knew it was a lot to ask of a 91 year-old man. So, Mel says to me, ‘Well, you know, people have been saying maybe I should just direct it’. And I said, ‘You should! That would be great’. So, who knows. The point of that was, maybe this will encourage Mel to take over the helm and direct Lethal Weapon 5.”
If Lethal Weapon 5 were still to go ahead without Donner, then Mel Gibson stands out as perhaps the only candidate worthy of doing it justice without it being viewed as a cynical move designed to capitalize on the former’s legacy. Not only is Riggs one of the 65 year-old’s career-defining roles, but he’s hardly a slouch in the directorial department either.
Gibson may have only directed five features, but his track record is solid to put it lightly. Braveheart was a box office smash hit that won five Academy Awards from ten nominations including Best Picture and Best Director, The Passion of the Christ earned $612 million and still reigns as one o the highest-grossing R-rated movies ever made, Apocalypto received widespread acclaim and Hacksaw Ridge landed him another Oscar nod for his work behind the camera, so Lethal Weapon 5 would be in very accomplished hands.