Shane Black’s ‘Lethal Weapon 5’ Idea Makes Us Want to See ‘Lethal Weapon 5’
Shane Black’s The Nice Guys is currently in theaters, and while you have plenty of viewing options this weekend, making time to see his dark crime comedy should be your chief priority. While making the press rounds for that film, Black has been talking up some of his other projects, past and present, including his idea for another Lethal Weapon sequel that he never got to make.
Our own Matt Singer had a great chat with Black about some of the most interesting scenes in the director’s past films, which you should definitely take time to read. But if you’re curious about the projects Black hasn’t gotten to direct, the director’s appearance on the Nerdist Writer’s Panel Podcast (via The Playlist) yields some interesting info — in particular, Black discusses his idea for Lethal Weapon 5:
I wrote a 62-page treatment with my friend Chuck for “Lethal Weapon 5” that would’ve been, I think, a very good movie. It was interesting. It was essentially an older Riggs and Murtagh in New York City during the worst blizzard in east coast history, fighting a team of expert Blackwater guys from Afghanistan that’s smuggling antiquities. And we had a young character that actually counter-pointed them. But I didn’t wanna do what people do when they’re trying to transition which is, they sorta put the two older guys in the movie, but really it’s about their son! And he’s gonna take over and we’re gonna do a spinoff. Fuck that, if they’re gonna be in the movie, they’re gonna be in the movie — I don’t care how old they are.
Black wrote the original 1987 classic, and developed the story for its sequel. I like how he straight-up dismisses the current Legacyquel trend that’s become an occasionally clever way to reboot franchises (see also: Creed). Unlike that formula, Black’s Lethal Weapon sequel would have stuck with the original characters, and instead of introducing a younger character to launch a new era of the franchise, the younger guy would exist only to offer some contrast for the older duo.
That plot description proves (yet again) why Black is one of the smartest, most consistently talented screenwriters and directors working today. Up next, he’s heading into production on another sequel — The Predator — this fall, and it looks like Black will finally make his Doc Savage movie with Dwayne Johnson sometime next year.