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Donner says no Lethal Weapon 5

RichardDonner.jpgNews of Lethal Weapon 5 has been gathering pace of late, and last we heard it had been fast tracked. But according to Richard Donner, the fifth one is going nowhere, and mostly because he's not involved.

Looks like we will be getting no Lethal Weapon 5 at all. Or even worse, one without Richard Donner or Mel Gibson.

It was just over a year ago when rumours of a fifth Lethal Weapon film started. Richard Donner had a script together, and felt the film wouldn't work without Mel Gibson. Then not long ago, we were waiting for Mel Gibson to decide if he wanted to do it, and rumour had it writer Shane Black would be directing.

And then only a couple of weeks ago, it was being fast tracked. And Columbus Short, claimed he was up for the role of Murtaugh's son. We hadn't heard from the director of the original films, Richard Donner. And it turns out probably with good reason, he's having nothing to do with it.

He spoke to LA Times through IESB, and it turns out he had an idea to reunite Riggs and Murtaugh. And Shane Black had produced a script to go with it. A disagreement between Donner and Joel Silver seems to have put a spanner in the works, and led to Gibson turning the idea down.

Mel turned it down...I would like to think that Mel turned it down because I wasn't involved. Knowing Mel, I would like to think that. Would that be the kind of thing he does? It sure would be.

So we may not be waiting on Gibson after all. Donner though, says he had the whole team ready to roll.

It's too bad, actually, because Channing Gibson, who wrote the fourth one, and Mike Riva, a designer on three of them, and myself and Derek [Hoffman, an associate at The Donner Company] had an incredibly strong story for the fifth movie. But we weren't given the opportunity and I think maybe I could have convinced Mel to do it. But Warners chose to go with Joel Silver.

Sounds like we were pretty close to a fifth film, involving the original people involved. And that's really the only Lethal Weapon film I'd be interested in. Donner seems to agree:

Yes, the project is pretty much dead in the water unless someone had the sense to come to me.

So, either Lethal Weapon 5 is going ahead minus Richard Donner and Mel Gibson. Shudder. Or it just won't happen at all. I'm not sure who owns the intellectual rights or whatever you call it. But I hope it's Donner, otherwise we will probably see an extremely poor Lethal Weapon 5. One made purely to cash in on the current trend for sequels, and probably minus at least one of the original stars.

Do you want Lethal Weapon 5 without Donner and Gibson? Or is it madness to even consider it?



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