OK, while it’s not 100% guaranteed never ever to happen, it does now look like we won’t be seeing Lethal Weapon 5.
As you may recall, producer Joel Silver was just waiting to hear back from Mel Gibson and it appears that Mr. Gibson was heard from. The LA Times spoke to Lethal Weapon‘s first director Richard Donner, who said said that Gibson is a no-go.
Mel turned it down. I would like to think that Mel turned it down because I wasn’t involved. Knowing Mel, I would like to think that. Would that be the kind of thing he does? It sure would be.
Donner and some other people had their own sequel setting up, but apparently Warner wanted to go with Silver producing and Shane Black (who wrote previous movies) to direct and went ahead with that and no Richard Donner.
Joel Silver tried to ace me out of it. He tried to put it together but made sure he didn’t do it until my contract was up. You know, it’s typical of the man. A guy who wasn’t even around at the beginning when we started on the first one. He came in late. It’s too bad, actually, because Channing Gibson, who wrote the fourth one, and Mike Riva, a designer on three of them, and myself and Derek [Hoffman, an associate at The Donner Company] had an incredibly strong story for the fifth movie. But we weren’t given the opportunity and I think maybe I could have convinced Mel to do it. But Warners chose to go with Joel Silver.
So here’s a pickle. You had your movie but went without the main man behind Lethal Weapon, and because you do this, you don’t get your star back in Mel Gibson. What do you do now? You could reorganize and make nice with Donner and his ideas and hope that Mel Gibson goes along with that. You could hope Mel Gibson eventually gets bored and says OK. You could close Mel Gibson and run with it. There’s options here.
As of now, this all looks like there’s way too many complications to figure out, but never underestimate a studio that wants to make money.