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Richard Donner spills the plot for the aborted Lethal Weapon 5

Mar. 28, 2012by: Alex Maidy

LETHAL WEAPON is one of those movies that will always be synonymous with the eighties. It was garish, violent, and a hell of a lot of fun. Each sequel was a little bit less than the prior one in terms of quality, but still definitely fun.

It has now been 25 years since the original hit theaters and Empire has put together a reunion for the main stars, Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, along with director Richard Donner.

During the interview, Donner let slip the plot idea for the fifth film, which has never come to fruition.  The two crazies decide to cool their lives, but it's impossible for them to stay out of situations. It starts with Riggs and Murtaugh out in the country in a motorhome. They're on a trip and they stop to get gas, but Roger forgets to put the brake on. So the motorhome rolls through a village, annihilating everything, and they get in serious trouble. It had a lot of heart, a lot of family. Rene (Russo, who played Lorna Cole), Darlene (Love, who played Trish Murtaugh), they would all have come back.

Shane Black also wrote a different treatment which Gibson claims to have read, but that was also not to be.  The likelihood of another LETHAL WEAPON happening always seems possible, but with the stars and director all older, it doesn't seem likely.  What do you think about Donner's sequel idea?

Extra Tidbit: Mel Gibson really needs a win these days. Maybe he can really push for LETHAL 5 to get made.
Source: Empire Online

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10:15PM on 03/30/2012
@extra tidbit

If Gibson really wanted to win, he would have said yes to Mad Max 4.

As for the plot, that sounds like Donner is joking around.
@extra tidbit

If Gibson really wanted to win, he would have said yes to Mad Max 4.

As for the plot, that sounds like Donner is joking around.
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7:35AM on 03/30/2012
Wasn't that the plot to that shitty Robin Williams film R.V.?
Wasn't that the plot to that shitty Robin Williams film R.V.?
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+5
3:41PM on 03/29/2012

That...sounds like utter shit.

I saw that movie..it was called RV (with Robin Williams). Thank the lord they didn't make this craptastic thing.
I saw that movie..it was called RV (with Robin Williams). Thank the lord they didn't make this craptastic thing.
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11:02AM on 03/29/2012
I agree with jojo. It's a joke and I don't think they ever had intention of doing a 5th in the series. It would have been nice, but its all for not. If they would make a fifth one even now, I would still see it. I miss the characters that much!
I agree with jojo. It's a joke and I don't think they ever had intention of doing a 5th in the series. It would have been nice, but its all for not. If they would make a fifth one even now, I would still see it. I miss the characters that much!
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10:05AM on 03/29/2012
I assume he's kidding
I assume he's kidding
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9:15AM on 03/29/2012

Honestly?

I think that sounded slapstick and awful

I'd much rather a death wish/unforgiven idea with Joe Pesci killed and Riggs and Murtaugh on a no holds barred revenge spree
I think that sounded slapstick and awful

I'd much rather a death wish/unforgiven idea with Joe Pesci killed and Riggs and Murtaugh on a no holds barred revenge spree
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-1
7:08AM on 03/29/2012
I get that it's cool to be all dismissive to popular movies...but I enjoyed all four. LW2, for me, was one of those rare occasions where I saw the sequel before I saw the first one (Die Hard 2 was another). I thought it was absolutely brilliant. When I got around to seeing the first one second...I thought it was a good movie...very different to the second...but enjoyable nonetheless. The third, I thought dropped the ball a little but the fourth was back to the level of the second. All in
I get that it's cool to be all dismissive to popular movies...but I enjoyed all four. LW2, for me, was one of those rare occasions where I saw the sequel before I saw the first one (Die Hard 2 was another). I thought it was absolutely brilliant. When I got around to seeing the first one second...I thought it was a good movie...very different to the second...but enjoyable nonetheless. The third, I thought dropped the ball a little but the fourth was back to the level of the second. All in all, they're simply great movies.
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4:42AM on 03/29/2012
RVs accidentally destroying villages? Christ. Let it go guys.
RVs accidentally destroying villages? Christ. Let it go guys.
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2:26AM on 03/29/2012
I look at this picture and as much as I'd like to see another Lethal Weapon movie, these guys are old now. Not "ready for the grave" old, but too old for the types of roles they took 20 years ago. Thank God Sean Connery moved on from James Bond and decided to take roles appropriate for his age rather than stay an action hero for the rest of his career, or we wouldn't have ever seen him in The Untouchables, The Hunt for Red October, The Rock or Highlander II (well, maybe not Highlander II, but
I look at this picture and as much as I'd like to see another Lethal Weapon movie, these guys are old now. Not "ready for the grave" old, but too old for the types of roles they took 20 years ago. Thank God Sean Connery moved on from James Bond and decided to take roles appropriate for his age rather than stay an action hero for the rest of his career, or we wouldn't have ever seen him in The Untouchables, The Hunt for Red October, The Rock or Highlander II (well, maybe not Highlander II, but you get my point).
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10:24AM on 03/29/2012
Connery's departure from action hasn't deterred Stallone from blow stuff up.
Connery's departure from action hasn't deterred Stallone from blow stuff up.
11:50PM on 03/28/2012
I remember when the 4th Sky-rocketed Jet Li's career in America.
I remember when the 4th Sky-rocketed Jet Li's career in America.
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11:32PM on 03/28/2012
First film is one of my all-time favs. the second one is solid, but it's really kind of a recap, killing another woman in order to regain the "crazy" Riggs of the first film. Then in 3 and 4 they gave up on having him be nuts and became comedies, which doomed them both. For my money, I'd only like to acknowledge the first two films, and I'd also like to pretend that Shane Black got his way and killed off Riggs at the end of number two. But we all know how Hollywood like to kill a brilliant
First film is one of my all-time favs. the second one is solid, but it's really kind of a recap, killing another woman in order to regain the "crazy" Riggs of the first film. Then in 3 and 4 they gave up on having him be nuts and became comedies, which doomed them both. For my money, I'd only like to acknowledge the first two films, and I'd also like to pretend that Shane Black got his way and killed off Riggs at the end of number two. But we all know how Hollywood like to kill a brilliant original with shitty sequels (Rambo, anyone?)
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9:42PM on 03/28/2012

my idea

My idea on a 5th would have Murtaugh as the new chief and Riggs playing kind of the Murtaugh role of the previous. (On his way out, waiting for retirement) Then have some young gun being partnered up with Riggs. Not sure on main plot. Maybe Riggs's kid could fall in with some bad people and they have to stop it. I don't know. That's my idea.
My idea on a 5th would have Murtaugh as the new chief and Riggs playing kind of the Murtaugh role of the previous. (On his way out, waiting for retirement) Then have some young gun being partnered up with Riggs. Not sure on main plot. Maybe Riggs's kid could fall in with some bad people and they have to stop it. I don't know. That's my idea.
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9:32PM on 03/28/2012
I beg to differ that each sequel was less in quality. Lethal IV was on par with the 1st one. Jet Li was the ultimate bad ass in that movie.
I beg to differ that each sequel was less in quality. Lethal IV was on par with the 1st one. Jet Li was the ultimate bad ass in that movie.
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9:22PM on 03/28/2012

Really?

Donner - I love ya - but go with Black's script. We need a return to what made the first film great - not RV madcaps and mishaps with a pair of retirees. Give Riggs a reason to act without care for his well being - put someone close to him on life support - like his wife - or one of the kids in the franchise. Then it's Murtagh trying to keep his buddy from killing himself while Riggs is determined to get his justice. Go out with a bang.
Donner - I love ya - but go with Black's script. We need a return to what made the first film great - not RV madcaps and mishaps with a pair of retirees. Give Riggs a reason to act without care for his well being - put someone close to him on life support - like his wife - or one of the kids in the franchise. Then it's Murtagh trying to keep his buddy from killing himself while Riggs is determined to get his justice. Go out with a bang.
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9:16PM on 03/28/2012

Huh?

Riggs and Murtagh annihilate some third world village with their mobile home and then get in trouble? Is this Lethal Weapon 5 or Grumpy Old Men?

I would hope if all the parties came back the story line wouldn't be that stupid. I'm down for LW5... just so long as it's not the plot Richard Donner layed out.. which can't be described as a plot.
Riggs and Murtagh annihilate some third world village with their mobile home and then get in trouble? Is this Lethal Weapon 5 or Grumpy Old Men?

I would hope if all the parties came back the story line wouldn't be that stupid. I'm down for LW5... just so long as it's not the plot Richard Donner layed out.. which can't be described as a plot.
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9:15PM on 03/28/2012
How about capping some pederast in the kneecap and laugh like maniacs the entire time? That's how you open a Lethal Weapon movie. Not some bullshit with a fucking RV.
How about capping some pederast in the kneecap and laugh like maniacs the entire time? That's how you open a Lethal Weapon movie. Not some bullshit with a fucking RV.
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9:01PM on 03/28/2012

Why not?

They're pulling out the mothballs for everyone on Expandables 2 & 3, so why not these guys and with Donner to return as director to boot, no way this can fail regardless of script.
They're pulling out the mothballs for everyone on Expandables 2 & 3, so why not these guys and with Donner to return as director to boot, no way this can fail regardless of script.
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7:47PM on 03/28/2012

Man...

That sounds fantastic. It shouldn't be made but I'd be there day one. As ridiculous as the sequels got, they were always entertaining as all hell. And I'd love to see another adventure with the Three Stooges, quality be damned.
That sounds fantastic. It shouldn't be made but I'd be there day one. As ridiculous as the sequels got, they were always entertaining as all hell. And I'd love to see another adventure with the Three Stooges, quality be damned.
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7:22PM on 03/28/2012
hmm? didn't sound like a plot for leathel weapon 5. It sounded like a plot for the bucket list 2. I would however have loved to see another one with the whole gang back!
hmm? didn't sound like a plot for leathel weapon 5. It sounded like a plot for the bucket list 2. I would however have loved to see another one with the whole gang back!
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7:04PM on 03/28/2012

I forgot to mention...

Lethal Weapon 5 WAS already made...didn't you guys see it? [link]
Lethal Weapon 5 WAS already made...didn't you guys see it? [link]
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6:53PM on 03/28/2012

"I'm not a cop tonight, Roger, it's personal."

For my money, Lethal Weapon 2 is the best. It is a solid thrill ride with so much heart. The last 40 minutes is phenomenal.

Love the first one, especially Mr. Joshua and that lighter trick.
For my money, Lethal Weapon 2 is the best. It is a solid thrill ride with so much heart. The last 40 minutes is phenomenal.

Love the first one, especially Mr. Joshua and that lighter trick.
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6:26PM on 03/28/2012

Mel is the reason it wasn't made

Danny Glover expressed interest and Donner was back on board with a script by Shane Black taking the series back to its roots (this was a few years ago), but Gibson pulled a Bill Murray and basically said he wasn't interested. This was, I believe, before he ran into all his legal issues and ruined his career. It'd be interesting to see whether they ever do make another one given the state of his career now.
Danny Glover expressed interest and Donner was back on board with a script by Shane Black taking the series back to its roots (this was a few years ago), but Gibson pulled a Bill Murray and basically said he wasn't interested. This was, I believe, before he ran into all his legal issues and ruined his career. It'd be interesting to see whether they ever do make another one given the state of his career now.
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6:08PM on 03/28/2012
So Lethal Weapon 5 would have doubled as Gone Fishin' 2?

I'm a purist, I love the first one. Lethal Weapon 2 has some great moments (wait for my signal/just been revoked/they've been dekaffirnated)...but too many dumb plotholes (those South African a-holes just shot up your house...and they know you are sweet on the blond, and you drive her back to her own place where Ambassador Immunity knows she lives!?!?)
So Lethal Weapon 5 would have doubled as Gone Fishin' 2?

I'm a purist, I love the first one. Lethal Weapon 2 has some great moments (wait for my signal/just been revoked/they've been dekaffirnated)...but too many dumb plotholes (those South African a-holes just shot up your house...and they know you are sweet on the blond, and you drive her back to her own place where Ambassador Immunity knows she lives!?!?)
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+10
5:53PM on 03/28/2012

with a budget of

35-50mm, and a modern, grittier feel, lethal weapon 5 will be profitable. im surprised it hasnt been greenlit yet.
35-50mm, and a modern, grittier feel, lethal weapon 5 will be profitable. im surprised it hasnt been greenlit yet.
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+3
5:50PM on 03/28/2012
I'd venture Lethal Weapon 2 was better than one, but that's only because that's the first one I saw. And how does Gibson need a win? He royally screwed his career, but after Passion, he's pretty much set for life.
I'd venture Lethal Weapon 2 was better than one, but that's only because that's the first one I saw. And how does Gibson need a win? He royally screwed his career, but after Passion, he's pretty much set for life.
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+9
5:31PM on 03/28/2012
This is one of those few occasions in which I do not want another sequel.. the 4th closed the story very nicely.

Instead, I'd much rather like to have a Donner - Gibson - Glover - Pesci reunion but more in the lines of a fun actioner like Space Cowboys or RED
This is one of those few occasions in which I do not want another sequel.. the 4th closed the story very nicely.

Instead, I'd much rather like to have a Donner - Gibson - Glover - Pesci reunion but more in the lines of a fun actioner like Space Cowboys or RED
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+10
5:29PM on 03/28/2012

so was this the one that was turned into

a Robin Williams vehicle and called RV?

lol

but in all honesty leave Lethal Weapon where it is and as for the TIDBIT Gibson has done some fantastic movies as of late, the popular media is just ignoring it though like douchebags. Looking forward to his next flick How I Spent My Summer Vacation which looks like it could be great as well!
a Robin Williams vehicle and called RV?

lol

but in all honesty leave Lethal Weapon where it is and as for the TIDBIT Gibson has done some fantastic movies as of late, the popular media is just ignoring it though like douchebags. Looking forward to his next flick How I Spent My Summer Vacation which looks like it could be great as well!
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5:39PM on 03/28/2012
Check out the trailer for GET THE GRINGO at Joblo Movies!
Check out the trailer for GET THE GRINGO at Joblo Movies!
5:16PM on 03/28/2012
I would LOVE to see a 5th one but it needs to be dark and gritty (with humor still) like the first two. I would like to see Riggs old, beat up, bent out of shape hitting the booze again out for revenge of some sort.
I would LOVE to see a 5th one but it needs to be dark and gritty (with humor still) like the first two. I would like to see Riggs old, beat up, bent out of shape hitting the booze again out for revenge of some sort.
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