10:37am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Fifth 'Lethal Weapon' Film Still a Possibility, TV Reboot Producer Says
While reboots on TV and the box office have stumbled of late, Fox is taking a stab at one of the most successful action movies of all time with its take on Lethal Weapon. And while the producers of the Warner Bros. Television entry are 100 percent focused on the TV series, a fifth movie in the franchise isn't out of the question.
"There's still potential for Lethal Weapon 5," exec producer Dan Lin said Monday at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour while promoting the upcoming series. "The feature film, because of [showrunner] Matt [Miller]'s take on the show, they let us extend the series, but there may be Lethal Weapon 5 in the future — but for now, the focus is 100 percent on the TV series."
Based on the feature film of the same name, Fox's reboot follows what happens when Texas cop and former Navy SEAL Martin Riggs (Rectify's Clayne Crawford) suffers the loss of his wife and baby and moves to Los Angeles to start anew. There, he gets partnered with LAPD detective Roger Murtaugh (Damon Wayans Sr.), who, having recently suffered a "minor" heart attack, must avoid any stress in his life.
Miller (Forever, Chuck) exec produces the WBTV drama alongside Lin, Jennifer Gwartz and McG, who directed the pilot.
The original buddy-cop action film, which starred Mel Gibson as Riggs and Danny Glover as Murtaugh, opened in 1987 and grossed $120 million worldwide. It spawned three sequels (1989, 1992 and 1998). The sequels combined grossed around $835 million globally.
For Crawford, who is already generating strong critical buzz for his role in the series, the Rectify alum says his version of Martin Riggs is toned down for Fox's more family-friendly series.
"In the films, he was also doing cocaine, which jacked things up a little bit," the actor said to laughs. "This is Fox and family hour, so no cocaine. I was playing more of the sadness. If I lost my children, I don't know how I'd get up and pay the bills or continue with life. I approached it from that way yet having that urge to catch bad guys. I try to ground Riggs in an honest place. What Mel Gibson did was so incredible in 1987, but we as an audience want things more grounded today and a little more truth. I had to find the heart of the piece and not go so big with it."
As for what to expect going forward, producers intend to introduce characters from the film played by Rene Russo and Joe Pesci — though that may not be for some time, as the current plan is to focus on establishing the show's central characters and procedural elements before broadening the world.
Watch a new clip from the series, below.