This summer marks the 20th Anniversary of Lethal Weapon 4, and over those two decades, fans have been clamoring for Lethal Weapon 5. Over the years there has been plenty of talk of this sequel, most recently in December. Director Richard Donner revealed that the long-awaited sequel may actually happen, stating that he came up with a story alongside Lethal Weapon 4 writer Channing Gibson, and that both Mel Gibson and Danny Glover were on board, stating that if everybody "steps up," it will happen. Now it seems that it may not happen, thanks to the Warner Bros. legal department. Here's what the director had to say during a recent podcast appearance.
"And I'm ready to do 5. It's called Lethal Finale. It's very dark. And we were all set to go and now Warner Bros. is doing their old-fashioned tricks. Not Warner Bros., there's this guy who runs the studio who's great but they have these people in the legal department who do the negotiating in the most counter-productive way. They should be sent to a studio and work with the producers and directors and actors, and learn what makes a film, and then negotiate. But it's just embarrassing."
Back in May 2016, original Lethal Weapon writer Shane Black revealed that he had crafted a massive 62-page treatment for Lethal Weapon 5, which would have centered on Riggs (Mel Gibson) and Mutaugh (Danny Glover) trying to fight a team of expert Blackwater military contractors who are smuggling antiques, all during the worst blizzard in New York City history. Given that Shane Black had once "specialized" in making off-beat Christmas movies, it was believed that this Lethal Weapon sequel would have taken place during the holiday season, although that was never confirmed.
There was also a report from 2014 that claimed Chris Hemsworth was set to star in a Lethal Weapon project that was said to be a hybrid of a sequel and a remake, with Chris Hemsworth believed to be playing Mel Gibson's son, who was about to enter the police academy. The story would have centered on that character, with Mel Gibson's Riggs believed to have just a cameo. Still, that project never moved forward, and now all these years later, it remains to be seen if the sequel will ever happen.
If Lethal Weapon 5 ever does happen, it will be the first directorial effort for Richard Donner in over a decade. The last film he directed was in 2006, the Bruce Willis action-thriller 16 Blocks, and there is no indication that the filmmaker has anything else in the works at this time. You can listen to director Richard Donner's full 76-minute interview on the Maltin on Movies Podcast.