Since David Zaslav officially assumed control of Warner Bros. Discovery, most of the focus has fallen on the projects the new CEO has been canceling. Part of his axe-wielding strategy is to whittle down the number of HBO Max exclusive movies, which left fans of the long-gestating Lethal Weapon 5 a little worried.
After all, when it was first revealed that Mel Gibson would be stepping behind the camera to pull double duty in the wake of director Richard Donner’s death, the final installment in the classic buddy cop franchise was announced to be skipping theaters in favor of an exclusive streaming debut.
Thankfully, though, Gibson has confirmed in an interview with ScreenRant that not only is Lethal Weapon 5 alive and well, but it could be gearing up to shoot a lot sooner than you might think.
“It’s [coming along] great, we’ve got a really good screenplay that I developed. Well, Donner developed it, Richard Donner, of course, developed it with Richard Wenk, and they had a really good template. 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. The only delay is now with all the shake-up at Warners, with Discovery coming in and the new boss, and 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.”
Given that nostalgia is still all the rage these days, and former HBO Max original Evil Dead Rise was pulled from streaming and awarded a theatrical release instead, we can assume that Lethal Weapon 5 will be hitting the big screen whenever it arrives. We’ll have to deal with countless jokes claiming Gibson and co-star Danny Glover are too old for this sh*t up until then, but let’s hope the end product is worth the wait – especially with an Oscar-winning director at the helm.