Well, that was fast. Just last night, it was reported that Warner Bros. had just put a whole bunch of buried remakes back into development, including the Mel Gibson/Danny Glover buddy cop movie “Lethal Weapon.” Deadline now reveals that the studio has hired Black List-approved screenwriter Will Beall, who wrote the red-hot “Tales from the Gangster Squad,” to pen the script for the “Lethal Weapon” remake. The studio is hoping to re-launch the franchise with a couple of fresh new actors. While the studio toyed with the idea of filming yet another sequel with Gibson and Glover, schedules didn’t match up and of course, Gibson has totally gone off the reservation recently.
Beall, once an LA patrol cop, wrote “Tales from the Gangster Squad,” based on a seven-part series of articles in the LA Times about a special division of police in Los Angeles dedicated to keeping mobsters out of the city. “Zombieland” director Ruben Fleischer is looking to helm that film, beating out a strong number of contenders that circled the project including Ben Affleck and Darren Aronofsky. ‘Gangster Squad’ has been one of the recent popular projects that the studio seems gung-ho about getting out into the marketplace and clearly they’ve become a fan of Beall’s work.
With an actual cop writing the remake, maybe “Lethal Weapon” will be a little more gritty, a little less slapstick — more like the first film than what the series eventually devolved into. But certainly the shoes of Shane Black, who penned the original, will be tough to fill. –Catherine Scott