Fox and its infinite wisdom has gone a head an ordered a pilot for a television series based on one of the best buddy-cop movies to come out of Hollywood. Good or Bad idea?
Back in October of 2015 Warner Brothers let it be known that a reboot of the Lethal Weapon franchise was in the works over at Fox and not for the big screen but for television.
Jump ahead four months and it seems a Lethal Weapon television series is moving a head as fast as a high-speed chase through the streets of L.A.
In the original movie “Martin Riggs” portrayed by Mel Gibson is an undercover narcotics officer who becomes suicidal and is reassigned to detective “Roger Murtaugh” (Danny Glover). Its success spawned three sequels over the course of the next eleven years.
The rebooted version of “Lethal Weapon” is not to far off of what we saw in the original movie with only minor changes.
When Texas cop and former Navy SEAL Martin Riggs suffers the loss of his wife and baby, he moves to Los Angeles to start anew. There, he gets partnered with LAPD detective Roger Murtaugh, who, having recently suffered a “minor” heart attack, must avoid any stress in his life.
The only casting news is that of Damon Wayans Sr. in the role of Roger Murtaugh. There has been no news on the casting of “Martin Riggs”. Original Lethal Weapon director Richard Donner and producer Joel Silver have given their blessing to the series even though neither will be involved with the project in any form.
This is not the first time and it won’t be the last time I complain about a Hollywood reboot. Even though this one is slightly different as it’s a reboot of a movie for a television series and not a direct movie reboot.
My biggest issue with this particular “reboot”, besides the fact it shouldn’t be happening in the first place is not with the premise of the show, but with the casting.
Now I realize no one knows exactly what the tone of the show will be, but casting Damon Wayans Sr., as “Murtaugh” seems like a step in the wrong direction. The original “Lethal Weapon” was for the most part a serious cop movie with bits of humor sporadically thrown in. The three sequels added more humor with each one and got a way from the original movie to some degree, but the underlying relationship between “Riggs” and “Murtaugh” always remained and were the heart of the movies.
The casting of Damon Wayans Sr., more known for his comedic skills tells me there looking to take the show in more of a comedic tone then a drama. The biggest tell will be whom they cast as “Riggs”. If the actor they hire is more like Wayans then you can expect humor to out way the drama side.
In the movies the character of “Murtaugh” was more of a straight man to the character of “Riggs” and the chemistry between Glover and Gibson pulled it off perfectly.
If Fox wants to have a “Lethal Weapon” series succeed on television then in my mind it would make better sense to have a non comedic actor in the role of “Murtaugh” who’s able to handle the comedic moments and let whom ever takes on the role of “Riggs” be the funny one when called for.
This being a reboot for television Fox could be looking to reverse the roles and have “Riggs” be the more serious character and allow “Murtaugh” the more of the lighthearted moments.
The biggest tell for this new series will be whom they ultimately cast in the role of “Martin Riggs” a comedic or serious actor? My personal opinion is that a “Lethal Weapon” series on television would work best on something like “Netflix” or “Hulu” and not a network.