Remember the last time you were watching a Lethal Weapon movie and thought, “Say, I would love to see this story stretched out on a weekly basis with completely new actors and a different creative team?” Didn’t happen? Doesn’t matter! The hit action comedy franchise is the latest in a long line of films that is being given the small screen treatment. And where else would it be going but Fox.
This project isn’t set in stone yet or anything, as Fox is only giving the project a put pilot commitment at this point. But considering the embedded fanbase and the fact that buddy cop shows are a TV staple, there wouldn’t be an ounce of surprise in me if this show got ordered to series before I’m finished writing this.
To be expected, the idea for this version of Lethal Weapon is pretty similar to the story we know and love. According to Deadline, it’ll center on Martin Riggs, a Texas cop and former Navy SEAL, who moves to Los Angeles to start a new life. (No mention of a dead wife here.) He is partnered with LAPD detective Roger Murtaugh, who is trying to avoid extraneous stress in his life after having a minor heart attack. Because it’s Fox, where “shit” is still taboo, I assume that he’ll constantly be complaining about “being too old for this mess.”
The biggest and most obvious setback for a Lethal Weapon series is that Mel Gibson and Danny Glover will likely not be involved in any capacity, and nor will writer Shane Black. The person who is guiding a new Lethal Weapon for Fox is Matt Miller, who will be writing the pilot. Miller was most recently known for being the creator of ABC’s short-lived drama Forever, but he’s worked on several series over the years as a writer and/or executive producer, including Chuck, The 100, Human Target and Las Vegas. We have high hopes that Miller can spin this classic material into something worth watching.
The first Lethal Weapon came in 1987, followed by sequels in 1989, 1992 and 1998, with Richard Donner behind the camera for all four. There had been talk in recent years about getting a fifth movie going, as well as an entire reboot of the series on the big screen, with Chris Hemsworth as the studio’s choice for a lead role. Nothing seems to be moving forward on either of those, and so naturally a TV show would be the next best thing.
CBS already has Rush Hour coming, as far as buddy cop actioners are concerned. And Fox recently put together the film-to-TV sci-fi drama Minority Report, although that hasn’t been a ratings hit. Throw a rock and you’ll hit another remake on another channel. Do you guys think that Lethal Weapon will have what it takes to get it to series? And more importantly, can we get Joe Pesci back for it?