How Lethal Weapon 2 Almost Killed Riggs (and the Franchise)

Lethal Weapon 2 was another hit for the action series, but the original plan to kill off Riggs in the finale would have killed the franchise as well.


lethal weapon 2 was to end with Riggs’ death of Mel Gibson, which would have killed the franchise along with it. Shane Black was only 23 when he sold his lethal weapon screenplay, and while it wasn’t the first buddy cop movie, it came to define the genre. The film was a perfect storm from the right director to Richard Donner, Mel Gibson and Danny Glover’s casting and Black’s screenplay. This makes lethal weapon film a surprise hit, with the team soon reunited for a sequel. Black co-wrote his draft of lethal weapon 2 starring Warren Murphy and has since called it the best screenplay he’s ever written.

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Double , this script had the same basic story but was much darker. Notable scenes included a cocaine-laden plane exploding over Los Angeles—covering it in “snow”—and a finale where Riggs dies of his injuries. La scène finale de ce lethal weapon 2 had Riggs saying goodbye to Murtaugh via a tape he had recorded just before his death. While the script was considered excellent, Donner and the studio felt it was far too dark and wanted to not only have a lighter tone, but leave the possibility of another sequel open. Since the murder of Riggs compromised that, the script by Shane Black – who has directed many Christmas movies – has been rejected.

Related: Lethal Weapon Already Had Its Perfect Ending (Part 5 Isn’t Needed)


Lethal Weapon 5 Could Revisit Riggs’ Dark Fate

about the changes that have been made, and has nothing to do with the last two releases. and 4 were both successful, but are often considered inferior to the first two films. The studio was no doubt happy to have spared Riggs, but it would have been the bolder choice to kill off the character. As dark as Black’s sequel version would have been, it seems to more closely match the tone of the original. Of course, there’s still a chance that Riggs’ original fate will be revisited.

Before his death in 2021, Richard Donner developed , with Gibson and Glover set to return. Gibson has since taken over as director, and while not much about the sequel has been revealed, she could still return to will almost certainly be the final entry and is therefore free to return to the roots of the saga. Given the comedic tone of later entries, it’s almost easy to forget how intense and uncompromising the original was. can wrap Riggs and Murtaugh’s story – meaning the former could meet his original fate.

How The Lethal Weapon TV Show Killed Riggs

Riggs may have survived in the movies, but not on the TV spin-off. The series cast Clayne Crawford as Riggs and Damon Wayans as Murtaugh, but the two actors didn’t get along at all. This came to a head when Wayans was injured by shrapnel during an episode directed by Crawford. Season 2 ended with Riggs being shot in the chest by his stepbrother, in revenge for Riggs killing their criminal father. Crawford was later fired after the finale aired, with the Season 3 premiere revealing that Riggs had died off-screen. Riggs was later replaced by Seann William Scott’s Wesley Cole as Murtaugh’s new partner, but the show itself was soon cancelled.

Next: Lethal Weapon Season 3 Episode 5 Saw The Show Skip Riggs’ Death

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