Mel Gibson Confirms He's Directing Lethal Weapon 5

Lethal Weapon series star Mel Gibson says he's directing Lethal Weapon 5, taking over from late franchise director-producer Richard Donner. According to Deadline, sources close to Gibson say the Braveheart and Hacksaw Ridge filmmaker will also reprise his role of Martin Riggs as he steps behind the camera for Lethal Weapon 5. A deal has not been closed for Gibson to direct the long-gestating sequel to 1998's Lethal Weapon 4, which Gibson continued to develop after Donner died in July at the age of 91. 

"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. And he said to me one day, 'Listen kid, if I kick the bucket you will do it.' And I said: 'Shut up,'" Gibson said during an Experience With... event in London (via The Sun). "But he did indeed pass away. But he did ask me to do it and at the time I didn't say anything."

Gibson added: "He said it to his wife [producer Lauren Shuler Donner] and to the studio and the producer. So I will be directing the fifth one."

Gibson and Danny Glover starred together in all four Donner-directed Lethal Weapon films between 1987 and 1998. In December, Donner confirmed he would direct the fifth and final film in the franchise created by screenwriter Shane Black. 

"This is the final one," Donner told The Telegraph, saying at the time: "It's both my privilege and duty to put it to bed." 

Producer Dan Lin confirmed last year that the "last Lethal Weapon" movie was moving forward with Gibson and Glover reprising their roles as detectives Riggs and Roger Murtaugh.

"Dick Donner's coming back. The original cast is coming back. And it's just amazing," Lin said during a Hollywood Reporter roundtable in January 2020. "The story itself is very personal to him. Mel and Danny are ready to go, so it's about the script."

Black, who scripted 1987's Lethal Weapon and its 1989 sequel, revealed in 2016 he wrote an unused 62-page treatment for a Lethal Weapon finale about "an older Riggs and Murtagh in New York City during the worst blizzard in east coast history, fighting a team of expert Blackwater guys from Afghanistan that's smuggling antiquities." 

"I didn't wanna do what people do when they're trying to transition which is, they sorta put the two older guys in the movie, but really it's about their son! And he's gonna take over and we're gonna do a spinoff," Black told The Playlist at the time. "F--k that: If they're gonna be in the movie, they're gonna be in the movie — I don't care how old they are."