After previous statements indicating a fifth and final “Lethal Weapon” film was effectively a go barring some scheduling issues, filmmaker Richard Donner is stepping back from the talk – so much so he’s now suggesting the potential sequel might be dead.
Donner has been teasing the project for a few years, but things picked up steam late last year with the fourth film scribe Channing Gibson returning and stars Mel Gibson and Danny Glover also said to be “seriously exploring the idea for another entry.”
While appearing on the Maltin On Movies podcast (via ScreenRant), Donner revealed the film was to be titled “Lethal Finale” but negotiations have broken down and problems behind-the-scenes may have effectively scuttled the whole thing:
“I’m ready to do 5. It’s called Lethal Finale. It’s very dark. And we were all set to go and now Warner Bros. is doing their old-fashioned tricks. Not Warner Bros., there’s this guy who runs the studio who’s great but they have these people in the legal department who do the negotiating in the most counter-productive way. They should be sent to a studio and work with the producers and directors and actors, and learn what makes a film, and then negotiate. But it’s just embarrassing. I wanted to end it on an emotional note, and I don’t think it’s gonna happen.”
The original “Lethal Weapon,” penned by Shane Black, remains a classic of the buddy action-comedy genre and the second film is also considered a strong follow-up. Worldwide the series has grossed $955 million across the four films.