Mel Gibson Reportedly to Direct 'Lethal Weapon 5'
LOS ANGELES – Mel Gibson is apparently set to direct the fifth installment of the Warner Bros. action franchise “Lethal Weapon.”
The project’s future was in doubt when director Richard Donner, who’d helmed all of the previous movies from the series dating back to 1987, died in July at age 91, was working on the fifth chapter of the film series, which had been in development on and off for years.
Richard Wenk, who had written the “Equalizer” films starring Denzel Washington, wrote the film’s latest draft.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Gibson’s arrival was supported by Donner’s widow, veteran film producer Lauren Shuler Donner.
The new film will be produced by Dan Lin of Rideback, Shuler Donner and Gibson. Rideback’s Jonathan Eirich and Derek Hoffman of Donner’s company will serve as executive producer.
According to London’s The Sun, which first reported the news, Gibson said Donner “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.’
“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.”
“Lethal Weapon” helped establish Gibson as a Hollywood star after he had starred several popular films from his native Australia.