Those who were hoping that Hollywood, perchance, would stop dragging beloved cult films into the TV den are about to get a hard slap of reality. News came down from Deadline today that Fox has a Lethal Weapon reboot in the works as a TV series, effectively ending any good will I had for the channel that gave us The Simpsons and The X-Files. Matt Miller, who penned ABC’s less-than-inspired Forever, is currently writing the series, which will primarily be a drama, which is the first of what I imagine will be many major issues with this concept. There’s no release date planned for the drama series, or any further cast and crew rumors, but one would expect the series to go into production later this year or in early 2016.
Fox hasn’t exactly been doing well with this kind of reboot, as their recent, actually not-half-bad Minority Report series saw a noticeable drop below 1.0 in the key demos in the ratings this past week. The original franchise, which ran for four films and starred Mel Gibson and Danny Glover as unlikely partners in the LAPD, has been a rumored reboot in film and television for awhile now, a fact that has been perplexing from jump street. If you take writer Shane Black, director Richard Donner, and the Gibson-Glover chemistry away from Lethal Weapon, you only have a tired cop procedural. The basic structure of the films is no different from the hundreds of similar police shows that have come and gone in the decades since the excellent first two films of the franchise. It’s best to keep an open mind with projects like these, but the affinity that most people have for these films is both a blessing and a curse in this instance. Sure, you get major brand recognition, but considering the fact that Miller is writing the series, there’s little-to-no chance that the series will have the sardonic tone or action chops that fans of the franchise are expecting.