There's been quite a bit of talk about Lethal Weapon 5 lately and we even reported last week that, according to Columbus Short, the film was on the "fast track." It seems that might not be the case after all. pointed us to the LA Times Hero Complex Blog who recently chatted with the franchise's director Richard Donner who said that, not only did Warner Bros. try to sidestep him for the fifth film, but that Mel Gibson turned it down as well.

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"Mel turned it down," Donner said. "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."

Donner also added that he was working on an idea for a fifth film as well, but, as it turned out, Lethal Weapon screenwriter Shane Black had written a script for the fifth film and producer Joel Silver went with that draft and was eyeing him to direct.

"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 Warners chose to go with Joel Silver."

So what's Donner's ultimate prognosis on Lethal Weapon 5? "Yes, the project is pretty much dead in the water unless someone had the sense to come to me."

We'll be sure to keep you updated on these interesting developments as soon as more information comes to light.