A Lethal Weapon reboot? Say it ain’t so, Cochise.
But it is so. According to Heat Vision, Warner Bros wants to bring back Lethal Weapon. Having failed to get a fifth installment off the ground, the studio is looking to do the next best thing: Remake, reboot, revive.
I always knew this day would come. As the 1980s were ransacked for anything that was remotely cool, sexy, or badass, I knew (and often bitterly joked) that Lethal Weapon would someday come up for grabs. I knew I’d feel very old, sad, and tired as I wrote that headline. And I do.
I love the Lethal Weapon movies. (Well, the first two.) Love them. They weren’t my first mature movie, but they were my introduction into a great, noisy, splattery, silly genre of action comedy. Martin Riggs was my teenage crush. (Still is. He’s a separate animal than Mel Gibson.) I will defend his shag haircut and cowboy boots to anyone who dares snicker in my presence.
What’s the point? The names of Riggs and Murtaugh are nothing without their original stars, troubled though one of them may be. If you want icons, you have to make them from scratch. You can’t just put a dude in a letter jacket, give him goofy dialogue, and expect it to work.
It is possible to write new buddy cop stories. Shane Black is still alive and working. You could probably ask him, and he’d do something new and similar. And since Lethal Weapon is a thinly veiled retread of Dirty Harry, it’s not as though there’s a grand tradition of not ripping these things off. It’s ok. We know and we’ll watch them anyway, and say “Gee, that was a lot like Dirty Harry and Lethal Weapon. It was pretty fun.”
Lethal Weapon isn’t the only thing up for stomping on. Heat Vision also says Westworld and The Wild Bunch are being tossed around as well. Westworld is no sacred cow. I could swallow that one.
But The Wild Bunch? It takes balls of steel to even think about redoing Sam Peckinpah. I don’t even have the words. I can rant about Lethal Weapon but my fingers go kind of numb at the thought of tackling that hubris.
And you guys thought our Sacred Cow list was far fetched.
How depressing. Warner Bros had really made a mark as a studio willing to accept new visions and take a few risks. They don’t have to dig through their back catalog for hits. Why dig that grave now in a post-Inception world?
ETA: Well, that was fast. Deadline reports Will Beall has signed to pen the Lethal Weapon reboot. Now there’s no “if,” only a release date and a cast.