After lengthy negotiations, Fox and Warner Bros. TV have closed a pilot-order deal for Lethal Weapon, an hourlong series based on the buddy cop action comedy movies that starred Mel Gibson as Martin Riggs and Danny Glover as Roger Murtaugh. In Living Color alum Damon Wayans Sr. is set to play Murtaugh in the remake, with Charlie’s Angels helmer McG set to direct the pilot for Warner Bros. TV. The Riggs role has not been cast yet.
Written by former Chuck executive producer and Forever creator Matt Miller, Lethal Weapon, like WBTV’s Rush Hour series for CBS, is a relatively straight remake featuring the movies’ central characters.
The feature franchise kicked off with Homicide Sgt. Murtaugh (Glover), who recently celebrated his 50th birthday, being partnered with the suicidal and highly volatile ex-U.S. Army Special Forces soldier-turned-LAPD Narcotics Sgt. Riggs (Gibson), who had been reassigned to homicide after a psychotic episode on the job as he deals with grief following the death of his wife.
In the series, when Texas cop and former Navy SEAL Riggs suffers the loss of his wife and baby, he moves to Los Angeles to start anew. There, he is partnered with LAPD detective Murtaugh (Wayans), who, having recently suffered a “minor” heart attack, must avoid stress in his life.
On the project, Miller is reuniting with Forever executive producer Dan Lin, whose Warner Bros-based Lin Pictures is producing the project alongside WBTV and Miller’s Good Session Prods. banner. This also marks a reunion for Miller and McG, who executive produced together Chuck, and McG directed the pilot. Miller, McG, Lin and Jennifer Gwartz executive produce the Fox pilot.
The original 1987 Lethal Weapon movie, written by Shane Black and directed by Richard Donner, was a breakout hit, grossing $120 million on a $12 million budget. It spawned a formidable franchise with three sequels and helped established the comedic action buddy cop genre, influencing such hit follow-up entries as Rush Hour and Bad Boys.
For Wayans, Sr., who was identified for the role of Murtaugh about a month ago, this marks a return to acting after a five-year break. He is repped by ICM Partners and Kleinberg Lange Cuddy & Carlo.