Back in January of 2011, The Hollywood Reporter published an item about Warner Bros. moving forward on a number of remakes and reboots of old WB properties, one of which was Lethal Weapon. The last Lethal Weapon movie had come out in 1998, and a few years prior to THR article, there had been rumors of a fifth Lethal Weapon movie that never came to fruition. And since that 2011 rumor, nothing much more has been said about bringing Lethal Weapon back. But then between Mel Gibson’s public image problems and the advancing age of both Gibson and his co-star Danny Glover, whose character famously claimed he was “getting too old for this shit” way back in 1987, it was always going to take just the right kind of story and creative team to revive the franchise.
Well, according to The Tracking Board, just such a story and just such a team may have been found. The current rumor is that Warner Bros. has a project in the pipeline called Lionhunters that’s actually the fifth Lethal Weapon. Justin Lin has reportedly been tapped to direct a Will Beall script, and Chris Hemsworth is said to have been offered the leading role as the son of aging cop, rumored to by Gibson’s Martin Riggs. If this is in fact where the Lethal Weapon sequel is headed, it looks to be one of those passing-of-the-torch type films, to set up a new series.
Lin’s a fine action director, and Hemsworth’s a legitimate star, but the question any new Lethal Weapon movie will have to answer is what exactly is a Lethal Weapon film, if it’s not about crazy ol’ Riggs and grumpy ol’ Murtaugh? (Actually, that’s a question that the last two Lethal Weapon installments had trouble answering.) More to the point: Do these kinds of second-generation handoffs ever work? Have any “son of Indiana Jones” or “son of John McClane” movie ever generated enough interest to effectively change the guard?