Despite being 30 years old, Lethal Weapon is an action movie that’s stood the test of time. One of the best buddy-cop pairings in movie history, Mel Gibson and Danny Glover are untouchable as Riggs and Murtagh. So much so, in fact, that they not only came back for a whopping THREE sequels, but there’s even talks about a fifth one coming out in the near future!
We love it, you love it, freaking EVERYBODY loves Lethal Weapon. However, we’re pretty sure even some of its biggest fans might not know these 10 facts about it.
It’s a Christmas movie
Much like Die Hard (which we’ll be talking about again later), Lethal Weapon takes place entirely at Christmas time, and as such means that you and your family should definitely throw it on this December!
It was directed by the same guy as Superman
Richard Donner was best-known at the time for directing the first two movies about the Man of Steel, as well as The Goonies, but he made his first of many leaps into action films with Lethal Weapon. Evidently he had a knack for it, because he directed all four Lethal Weapon movies, as well as Assassins with Sylvester Stallone and Antonio Banderas.
Jackie Swanson did her own stunts
This includes the giant fall, which she was trained for extensively, and was made less dangerous thanks to hidden cushions and a set that featured a reduced size.
The original script was very different
Shane Black (who would go on to direct movies like Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Iron Man 3, and The Nice Guys) originally wrote the script in 1985 as a much darker story, with both Murtagh and Riggs suffering from intense PTSD and psychosis from serving in the Vietnam War.
The rest of these facts are pretty nuts…
The film is dedicated to its lead stuntman
Dar Robinson was a legendary stuntman who worked on not only Lethal Weapon, but also Logan’s Run, Airplane!, and Nighthawks. He passed away in a motorcycle accident a month after filming completed, and Donner insisted the film be dedicated to him.
Mel Gibson did the “suicide contemplation” scene with real bullets
He felt it would give him the right incentive to make the scene as intense as possible. Yikes.
Leonard Nimoy was asked to direct
He was uncomfortable with the idea of directing an action film, and had also already committed to directing 3 Men and a Baby, so he passed.
The leads were younger than their characters
Riggs and Murtagh are written as 38 and 50 respectively, but Mel Gibson was 30, and Danny Glover was 40.
One of the side actors fathered a famous musician
Blackie Dammett (real name John Kiedis), who appears as one of the drug dealers at the Christmas tree stand, is the father of Anthony Kiedis, singer for the band Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Bruce Willis almost starred in it
He was offered the role of Riggs but turned it down. Hilariously enough, he would land the role of John McClane in Die Hard two years later, after Mel Gibson turned THAT role down.