Back in January (which now seems like several lifetimes ago) we heard that Lethal Weapon 5 was headed for production, with the original cast of Mel Gibson and Danny Glover reuniting with the first film's director, Richard Donner. Now we're getting confirmation from Mel Gibson himself that Lethal Weapon 5 is indeed happening. Gibson was appearing on GMA to promote his new film Fatman and was asked point-blank if the Lethal Weapon 5 rumors were true. Gibson confirmed the project, as well as his return and Richard Donner's involvement, saying Donner is "working on it" even as we speak.
Here's the full quote from Mel Gibson to GMA's Michael Strahan, when asked if Lethal Weapon 5 is still happening:
"Yeah! No absolutely," Gibson says in response to the question. "And the man who was behind all that - the man who brought it to the screen and gave it the goodies is working on it right now: Richard Donner. He's a legend."
Lethal Weapon tells the story of LAPD Homicide Sergeant/war vet Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover), who finds himself partnered with a narcotics Sergeant/ex-special forces soldier named Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson). Due to a tragic incident from his past, Riggs is suicidally reckless - the complete opposite of Murtaugh, who is looking at the door to retirement and time well-spent with his family. Over the course of the series, Riggs and Murtaugh become best friends and influence one another, with Murtaugh finding renewed spark for his life and work, while Riggs settles down and finds all the right things worth living for, like his partner.
The series first hit screens in 1987, with Donner helping to institute the buddy-cop testosterone action flick as a staple of 80s/90s cinema, alongside films like 48 Hrs. Lethal Weapon's blueprint has been copied by countless other films, while the series managed to continue into three additional installments after the original, culminating with Lethal Weapon 4 in 1998 (which also happens to be the American movie debut of Jet Li). Donner directed every installment, so as he stepped back from the franchise so did its stars, and things went dormant despite years of fan requests for Lethal Weapon 5.
Fox successfully rebooted Lethal Weapon as a TV series that ran 2016 - 2019; although initially successful, things hit a major wall in season 2 when series stars Damon Wayans and Clayne Crawford saw their working relationship implode, leading to Crawford being fired. An attempt was made to partner Wayans franchise character Murtaugh with a new character, Wesley Cole (Seann William Scott), but that change to the core formula was not received well by fans.
Donner has referred to Lethal Weapon 5 as "Lethal Finale" in the past. We'll see if that title sticks.