So the big rumor today (courtesy of something called The Tracking Board), is that there will be a Lethal Weapon remake at some point. We don't need websites to tell us that though. This is the world we live in. There will probably be a Die Hard remake at some point, too. If something has a brand, it will get exploited sooner or later.
The rumor's specifics are much more interesting, however. These include talks of Chris Hemsworth as director and Justin Lin playing Martin Riggs. That could end up being the other way around, but these are rumors so it doesn't really matter. I could make stuff up if I wanted to. For instance, Murtaugh won't be in the movie. It's not called Lethal Weapons, guys.
Seriously though, Chris Hemsworth as Martin Riggs would probably be fine. And Justin Lin as a director would probably be okay as well. And whoever they get as Murtaugh might also work out. But Lethal Weapon as a remake property at all gives me pause. Not because I'm anti-remakes and find the original too precious to copy, but because I don't understand how this story would matter at all in this day and age.
Lethal Weapon does two things. One, it subverts the then-popular black/white buddy cop genre by making the black cop older and more responsible and the white cop a charming suicidal lunatic. And two, it supplies lots of good action and fun characters.
I suppose the latter can come through if the all the regular movie miracles line up. And in that best case scenario, it might not matter that the former Lethal Weapon tenet - its premise and point - is so outdated. After all, that was pretty much already lost by Lethal Weapon 2 and fans love that film.
This is why I like Lin as director, even though he may very well not direct this movie. Like Lin's Fast and Furious films, Lethal Weapon's sequels grew increasingly reliant on family rather than its original premise as they progress. It seems like a modern remake would have to hit the ground running with this as its focus, certainly not impossible.
Is it likely, though? Character tends to be the first thing to go when it comes to most studio remakes. Even RoboCop, a remake that actually put a little effort into making its main character his own man, feels thin and flimsy compared to the original, or any singular movie for that matter. Chris Hemsworth is handsome and charming, but he's nowhere near as wild and edgy as Mel Gibson, so already (according this rumor, anyway) we're looking at a watered down version of the character.
Not that any of this matters. We're talking about rumors, but we're also talking about a movie that will likely make little impact on how we feel about the original. I just think it's crazy that someone would want to make a film that relies so heavily on character in a decidedly character-less tentpole environment. There's always the chance it could be good, but it seems much more likely to look like the last couple Die Hards instead.