According to /film and trackingb.com, Lethal Weapon may have become the latest action franchise to be resurrected. Supposedly, a script by Shane Black has already been approved by producer Joel Silver. Franchise regular Richard Donner will direct and Mel Gibson and Danny Glover would reprise their lead roles in Lethal Weapon 5. No word yet if other regular cast members such as Joe Peschi, Rene Russo, Chris Rock, or Jet Li would return.
I say why not. Financially, it makes since. Several other once popular action franchises have been recently revived to commercial and sometimes even critical success. In the past couple of years, the Die Hard, Indiana Jones, Rocky, and Rambo franchises have each seen a very profitable new entry. In every case, the time between the most recent film and the one preceding it was at least ten years. 12 for Die Hard, 19 for Indy, 16 for Rocky, and 20 for Rambo. It’s been ten years since Lethal Weapon 4, and 5 will likely not be released until next year at the earliest.
Lethal Weapon 5 joins Beverly Hills Cop IV as popular cop franchises that got their start in that 80’s that are slated for release next year. Unlike the Eddie Murphy starring franchise, let’s hope that Donner is actually directing, and Warner Bros. doesn’t decide to hire Brett Ratner. WB would also be wise not to pull a Live Free or Die Hard stunt and lower it to ‘PG-13’.
Box Office Data Source: The Numbers