All December long, everyone debates whether or not Die Hard is a Christmas movie. (For the record, it takes place on Christmas Eve, at a Christmas party, there is Christmas music, and a character is named Holly. So, YES.)
Not only does this ignore the fact that there are two categories of Christmas movies – those that are explicitly about Christmas and those that are merely adjacent to or take place during Christmas – it also ignores the existence of Lethal Weapon, another 80s action movie that takes place during Christmas. When Mel Gibson’s Martin Riggs first appears, he’s undercover at a Christmas tree lot!
Anyway, Christmas is over, so we can get back to this debate next year, by which time we should know if the next Lethal Weapon movie is a Christmas one. That’s right, Lethal Weapon 5 is coming, somehow, and it will be directed by Richard Donner, who told the UK’s Telegraph that despite the fact that he is 90 and quite obviously too old for this shit, he will direct the new movie.
There was a recent TV reboot, which nobody remembers, but for all intents and purposes, the franchise ended in 1998 with the fourth movie, which featured Chris Rock and Jet Li and was not good. Donner says this one will be the last, which, DUH, but even if that’s the case, it’s hard to believe that Glover and Gibson won’t be joined by some younger costars, to freshen things up and let someone else carry some of the action load.
A few years ago, Shane Black, the original Lethal Weapon’s screenwriter, and Christmas-in-LA enthusiast had an idea for an NYC set sequel that would take place during a blizzard and would actually resist attempting to softly reboot the franchise by adding a son to take the reins.
But Black doesn’t write projects for other people these days (and is hopefully going to be busy with Kiss Kiss Bang Bang 2!), so it seems unlikely that his idea would be the basis for Lethal Weapon 5. Plus, his recent Predator flick sucked.
According to Donner, the movie is in preproduction (he’ll be 91 by the time it’s finished!), so hopefully we’ll get some details soon.