Posted on 20 January 2011 by Rich Drees
Yesterday we reported on several potential remakes that Warner Brothers Pictures was contemplating moving forward on. It seems that the studio is already moving forward with one of those projects. Deadline is reporting that the studio has hired LA police officer-turned-screenwriter Will Beall to begin work on a script rebooting the popular Lethal Weapon franchise.
It’s understandable that Warner Brothers would want to stay in the Lethal Weapon business, as the four entries in the franchise have managed to gross $955 million at the box office. However, scheduling problems and star Mel Gibson’s highly public personal problems put the brakes on a potential Lethal Weapon 5 featuring the franchise’s original cast. A reboot certainly makes sense from a studio standpoint.
Although its screenplay helped launch the career of writer Shane Black, Lethal Weapon soared to popularity on the chemistry between stars Gibson and Danny Glover. Is it possible to replicate that today? The may come close, but I doubt that they’ll be able to top the original.
Posted on 19 January 2011 by Rich Drees
If in the next year or two you get a strange sense of deja vu when looking at what Warner Brothers Studio is putting into production, don’t be surprised. According to a story in the Hollywood Reporter today, the studio is looking at several of its properties with an eye towards remaking them. Among the films be considered for possible do-overs include the original Lethal Weapon, Sam Peckinpah’s classic western The Wild Bunch, the 1970s Michael Crichton-written and directed science-fiction thriller WestWorld, the comedy Oh God and Tarzan.
It seems as if these long in development projects are getting a possible new lease on life following the departure of longtime studio executive Jessica Goodman. All of these potential remakes were being developed under her aegis, and now that she is gone the studio has divvied them up among other executives to see if there is still life in them. While nothing is firm for any of these titles, and the presumed other projects that went unnamed in the Hollywood Reporter story, agents are already starting to set up meetings to pitch their various clients for them.
It’s well known that studio bean counters like the idea of remaking old, well-known films as part of their marketing job is already done for them. They don’t have to spend money getting an audience familiar with what the film is about. Sometimes that works in their favor, as with the recent remake of The Karate Kid, which pulled almost nine times it’s reported $40 million production budget at the box office. Other times, fans may stay away, as it appears they might have in the case of The A-Team, given its poor box office gross.
Personally, I really don’t want to see any of these films remade as they are perfectly fine as they are. And I think it’s worth pointing out that with the exception of Tarzan, all of these films were original projects created for the movies. It would be nice to see Warners putting this sort of energy and effort into something original.
Posted on 07 August 2008 by William Gatevackes
I guess we can blame Rocky Balboa and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull for this. They proved that long-dormant franchises can be revived with some success.
TrackingB.com is reporting that Shane Black, writer of the first Lethal Weapon film, has written a treatment, if not an entire script, for a potential Lethal Weapon 5. Original producer Joel Silver is rumored to be on board as well.
It has been 10 years since Lethal Weapon 4 graced movie screens, which certainly is less than the 16 years between Rocky sequels and the 17 years between Indiana Jones movies, if that helps.
The plot is rumored to revolve around Martin Riggs who is finally about to retire from the force. However, one case not only delays his retirement, but causes him to pull his former partner Roger Murtaugh out of retirement to solve it.
Mel Gibson has been keeping a low-on-screen profile since his 2006 arrest for drunk driving–and the anti-semtic tirade that followed it. His last role was a bit part in 2004′s Paparazzi. Danny Glover however, has been a little more active. He appeared this year in the Michel Gondry film, Be Kind Rewind. Both are rumored to be interested in returning to the franchise.