Mel Gibson will assume the role of director for the upcoming fifth Lethal Weapon movie following the passing of the franchise’s longtime movie maker, Richard Donner, earlier this year.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Gibson announced the news during an event in London on Sunday. “He was developing the screenplay and he got pretty far along with it,” Gibson explained. “And he said to me one day, ‘Listen kid, if I kick the bucket you will do it.’ And I said: ‘Shut up.'”
“But he did indeed pass away. But he did ask me to do it and at the time I didn’t say anything,” Gibson added. “He said it to his wife and to the studio and the producer. So I will be directing the fifth one.”
Gibson most recently directed 2016’s Hacksaw Ridge, which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Director.
Donner had been trying to bring Lethal Weapon 5 to the silver screen for well over a decade prior to his death in July 2021. The most recent installment in the franchise, Lethal Weapon 4, was released in 1998.
In addition to serving as its director, Gibson will star in the upcoming sequel alongside longtime partner, Danny Glover. Richard Wenk (The Equalizer) penned the latest draft of the film, according to THR
Lethal Weapon 5 isn’t the only major project on Gibson’s calendar, as he was also recently cast to star in the John Wick origin series The Continental. All of this is despite of the actor’s long, sad history of making derogatory comments about Black and Jewish people. In fact, as recently as 2020, Gibson faced renewed scrutiny when Winona Ryder shared anti-Semitic and homophobic remarks he made in her presence. The comments cost him at least one film role, but otherwise he’s just further proof that cancel culture isn’t really a thing.