Every few years, the rumors about Lethal Weapon 5 gain momentum, however, this is one sequel which we are never likely to see. The biggest reason is the fact that the two guys crucial for the sequel are Mel Gibson who is 60 and Danny Glover who is now 69 years of age. Therefore, the franchise is exploring the possibility of bringing in younger actors for a TV series and not as the 5th Lethal Weapon film. Writer Shane Black had a concept and a lengthy script idea ready for Lethal Weapon 5 if only the film could have been made.
He is promoting his new movie The Nice Guys which is written and directed by him. However, media loves to hear from him about his past works, and such talk invariably leads to Lethal Weapon. Black had written the screenplay for the original Lethal Weapon film which showed an unlikely duo of Martin Riggs (Gibson) and Roger Murtaugh (Glover), therefore, it was logical that he might be the right guy to close this story. Black was talking to The Playlist, and he shared that he had earlier written a 62-page treatment for Lethal Weapon 5 and that would have featured the following:
”It was interesting. It was essentially an older Riggs and Murtaugh in New York City during the worst blizzard in east coast history, fighting a team of expert Blackwater guys from Afghanistan that’s smuggling antiquities. And we had a young character that actually counter-pointed them. But I didn’t wanna do what people do when they’re trying to transition which is, they sorta put the two older guys in the movie, but really it’s about their son! And he’s gonna take over and we’re gonna do a spinoff. Fuck that: If they’re gonna be in the movie, they’re gonna be in the movie — I don’t care how old they are.”
This is nearly the same thing that we see in new Star Wars by making the lives original stars such as Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill, a vital part of the narrative. You can’t just make a Lethal Weapon 5 which shows Riggs and Murtaugh feature in a few supporting sequences only. They had to be the lead guys, and that becomes really difficult once the actors are in their 60s and 70s. Because in such a scenario, you might see the old men fight a much younger Jet Li, which might look impactful, but, unreal.
There are quite a few renowned franchises which have been rendered ineffective by the passage of time, and they include Terminator, Die Hard as well as Rocky. These films attempted to find creative options to continue the franchise. However, it requires the casting of new and younger actors to carry the stories forward.
It’s great that Shane Black conceptualized something that could show Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh in the same manner that we have known them. The idea of that snowstorm (while it looks to be inspired by Die Hard 2: Die Harder), will give the maker the creative freedom of setting the film around the Christmas period and that would have been fantastic. Sadly, it is not going to happen. However, this is one story that we would definitely love to read if only Shane would let us!