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Richard Donner says Lethal Weapon 5 isn't happening

by Parm Mann on 14 October 2008, 11:47

Tags: Lethal Weapon 5, Warner Bros. (NYSE:TWX)

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We're not too old for this shit, or are we?

When it comes to Hollywood movies, what a difference a week can make. Just last Tuesday, Columbus Short stated that he'd be playing Nick Murtaugh in the fifth outing of the Lethal Weapon franchise, a movie that Short confirmed to be on the fast track.

Today, Richard Donner - director of all four Lethal Weapon movies - categorically states that "the project is pretty much dead in the water".

Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, Donner reveals his frustration with Warner Bros. for excluding the 78-year-old from the planned development of Lethal Weapon 5. The fifth instalment is said to have a script prepared by Shane Black, and veteran producer Joel Silver is thought to have been waiting for Mel Gibson to sign up.

Unfortunately for Silver and Black, Gibson has a long-standing relationship with Donner and doesn't agree with the fact that the series director hasn't been involved. When asked if Gibson would agree to a fifth movie, Donner states:

"Mel turned it down. I would like to think that Mel turned it down because I wasn't involved. Knowing Mel, I would like to think that. Would that be the kind of thing he does? It sure would be."

It all sounds a touch bitter, and Donner's long-standing dispute with Silver clearly hasn't been resolved. Donner adds:

"Joel Silver tried to ace me out of it. He tried to put it together but made sure he didn't do it until my  contract was up. You know, it's typical of the man. A guy who wasn't even around at the beginning when we started on the first one. He came in late."

"It's too bad, actually, because Channing Gibson, who wrote the fourth one, and Mike Riva, a designer on three of them, and myself and Derek (Hoffman, an associate at The Donner Company) had an incredibly strong story for the fifth movie. But we weren't given the opportunity and I think maybe I could have convinced Mel to do it. But Warner chose to go with Joel Silver."

So, Gibson won't be involved unless Donner is, and Donner won't be involved if Silver is. That, we guess, means Lethal Weapon 5 isn't happening anytime soon.

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