“He did ask me to do it”: Original Superman Director Richard Donner Asked Mel Gibson to Take Over $952M Franchise

Original Superman Director Richard Donner Asked Mel Gibson to Take Over $952M Franchise

The current superhero landscape owes a lot to Richard Donner following his contribution to the Superhero landscape. But apart from crafting one of the most influential comic book movies in history, the Superman director is also responsible for crafting one of the best buddy cop movies, starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover.

Following the brilliance of Shane Black’s writing and Donner’s directing skills, Lethal Weapon became a big success upon its release and would witness 3 more sequels in the next 11 years. But after over 2-decades, Mel Gibson is set to take the wheels for the next entry in the franchise, honoring the late Superman director’s wish.

Also read: Not Just ‘Terminator’, Mel Gibson Lost a Golden James Bond Offer Before Daniel Craig Took the $10 Billion Spy Franchise to Another Level

Richard Donner
Richard Donner

Richard Donner Asked Mel Gibson to Direct Lethal Weapon 5

Before Richard Donner passed away at the age of 91, the director was between the development of a 5th film in the buddy-cop series, and following his demise, many fans felt the film may never come to fruition. But as the story goes, the lead star of the Lethal Weapon franchise is set to direct the 5th entry, as Donner once asked Gibson to sit in the director’s chair and lead Lethal Weapon 5.

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“The man who directed all the Lethal films, Richard Donner, he was a big guy. He was developing the screenplay and he got pretty far along with it… But he did ask me to do it and at the time I didn’t say anything. He said it to his wife and to the studio and the producer. So I will be directing the fifth one,” said Gibson.

With 2 Oscars under his belt for his directing skills, it’s safe to say that the future of the franchise is in the safe hands, and fans will expect Gibson to redeem the IP after Lethal Weapon 4‘s failure.

Also read: “It’s going to be really tough on this guy”: Superman Director Richard Donner Had Predicted Henry Cavill Won’t Have it Easy After Man of Steel, Later Trashed Zack Snyder for Making the Big Blue Dark and Gritty

Lethal Weapon 4 (1998)
Lethal Weapon 4 (1998)

Lethal Weapon 5 Will Honor Richard Donner Said Mel Gibson

Although a release date for the upcoming film is yet to be made public, Mel Gibson is pretty confident about the upcoming entry, stating the script Richard Donner and Richard Wenk developed is “really good”. Gibson explained he sat down with Wenk and worked on a couple of more drafts in order to develop a story that’d honor the late Superman director.

“I had the honor of sitting down after Richard passed away, with the writer and doing a couple more drafts and trying to do it in the spirit of what we thought Donner might [want], because I knew the guy so well.” Gibson said. “We tried to get that flavor, and we were pretty happy with what we came up with.”

Also read: “Why don’t I play this like a bagel?”: Marlon Brando Had a Bizarre Idea for His Superman Role That Left Director Richard Donner Puzzled

Mel Gibson in The Professor and The Madman
Mel Gibson

With reports claiming that this might be the final entry in the iconic franchise, Gibson would aim to bring the Lethal Weapon franchise back to its previous heights and go out with a bang.

Lethal Weapon is available to stream on Max.

Source: An Experience With Mel Gibson

Written by Santanu Roy

Santanu Roy is a film enthusiast with a deep love for the medium of animation while also being obsessed with Batman and The Everly Brothers. Apart from pursuing animation and analyzing movies, he possesses a deep fondness for narrative-driven games and is currently a content writer at Fandomwire with over 800 articles.