Mere months after the tragic passing of filmmaking Richard Donner, the director of Lethal Weapon, Superman and The Goonies, and a fifth instalment in the Lethal Weapon franchise has been announced, with Mel Gibson taking over in the director’s chair.
A staple of 1980s action cinema, Lethal Weapon starred Mel Gibson and Danny Glover as Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh as two cops who must put their differences aside to catch a gang of drug smugglers. The original 1989 film prompted three sequels, released in 1989, 1992 and 1998 respectively, with each new instalment helmed by Richard Donner.
In conversation at an event in London called An Experience with Mel Gibson, the actor and director revealed: “The man who directed all the Lethal films, Richard Donner, he was a big guy…He was developing the screenplay and he got pretty far along with it”.
Continuing, he added: “And he said to me one day, ‘Listen kid, if I kick the bucket you will do it.’ And I said: ‘Shut up.’ But he did indeed pass away”.
With the film left in production limbo since the unfortunate passing of Richard Donner, Mel Gibson then clarified: “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”.
While Mel Gibson has experienced a chequered past in terms of his anti-Semitic and racist public views, he still somehow holds some Hollywood clout, likely thanks to his impressive track record as a director. Having helmed the Best Picture-winning Braveheart in 1995, Gibson went on to see further awards success with The Passion of the Christ, the hugely underrated Apocalypto and the war drama Hacksaw Ridge starring Andrew Garfield.
Check out the trailer for the classic original action flick, Lethal Weapon, below.