The actor hinted at the possibility of him stepping into the director’s chair at an event in London, where he made reference to a conversation he had had with the helmer of the first four films, Richard Donner.
“He was developing the screenplay and he got pretty far along with it. And he said to me one day, ‘Listen kid, if I kick the bucket, you will do it.’ And I said: ‘Shut up,’” Gibson told The Sun. “He did indeed pass away, but he did ask me to do it, and, at the time, I didn’t say anything. He said it to his wife and to the studio and the producer. So, I will be directing the fifth one.”
Donner passed away on July 5, 2021 — at the age of 91 — leaving the future of the fifth film up in the air. His wife, Lauren Schuler Donner, will produce the film.
The original Lethal Weapon film premiered in 1987 and starred Gibson as Martin Riggs — a former Special Forces soldier who unwillingly gets paired up with 50-year-old veteran of the force Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover). The buddy cop action film was one of the first to put Gibson on the map in North America after he had already risen to fame in Australia through his roles in the Mad Max movies and The Year of Living Dangerously.
The first film in the franchise made over USD $120million worldwide (a bonafide hit as it only cost USD $15 million to make) and was even nominated for an Academy Award for Best Sound.
Three subsequent films followed between 1987 and 1998, pulling in almost one billion dollars at the global box office.
The films also spawned a TV series — starring Clayne Crawford as Riggs and Damon Wayans as Murtaugh — which ran for three seasons between 2016 and 2019.
The new Lethal Weapon film would be developed for HBO Max but not much else is known about the film at this time.
Another unknown would be when Gibson would be able to make the project given he has several films on his slate at the moment including a starring role in the new John Wick series, The Continental.