Time to get Lethal again.
IGN – The pilot for FOX’s Lethal Weapon series screened for fans at San Diego Comic-Con and we’ve got an advance spoiler-free review for you. The premiere episode will air Wednesday, September 21st.
Cutting to the chase, I enjoyed the Lethal Weapon pilot more than I anticipated.
Like, I assume, most of you, I was — and for the most part still am — against the rebooting of Lethal Weapon. I’m against most reboots just based on principal, in general, but I can still be wrong – like with Hannibal and Fargo (even though Fargo acts more like a spiritual adaptation/sequel). Basically, there was no point to turning Lethal Weapon into a TV show when the original films are still easily accessible and, in the case of the first two, still hold up.
But I won’t spend this entire review arguing about the actual validity of the show or making a case for or against why it should exist as a thing. It exists. We can’t change that. Let’s see if it works.
And it does. Mostly due to Clayne Crawford’s performance as rambunctiously traumatized cop Martin Riggs. Being a fan of Sundance TV’s Rectify, Clayne Crawford’s casting was the thing that initially caught my interest about this show. He’s so damn good on Rectify — which tonally is very different, of course — that I’ll admit to getting a little excited about hearing he’d be Riggs. And it turns out that excitement was justified.
IRISH EXAMINER – Lethal Weapon’s new TV reboot will be the first US series broadcast in primetime on ITV in three years.
The adaptation of the 1987 Mel Gibson and Danny Glover hit movie marks the return of US-acquired content on the main channel. The last programme to feature in such a prominent slot was spy drama The Americans in 2013.
Scheduled for an autumn premiere in the US, Lethal Weapon centres around the partnership between an unlikely cop duo in Los Angeles.
Clayne Crawford, a cast member of US drama Rectify, takes on Gibson’s role as Martin Riggs, while Roger Murtaugh is played by Damon Wayans, best known for family comedy My Wife And Kids.
Thanks to my lovely friend Kaci, I have this photoshoot from ATX TV Festival in HQ.
Move over Mel Gibson, there’s a new Riggs in town.
TV LINE – Fox’s upcoming Lethal Weapon series, based on the ’80s movie franchise of the same name, stars Clayne Crawford (Rectify) as Martin Riggs and Damon Wayans (My Wife and Kids) as Roger Murtaugh. The drama, which follows an unconventional cop with a death wish (Riggs) after he is partnered with a high-strung, traditional detective and family man (Murtaugh), is set to premiere Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 8/7c.
Crawford recently talked to TVLine about what fans can expect from the new show (and what The Avengers might have to do with it), crazy stunts and more.
HIS NAME IS NO | Alabama native Crawford says he initially turned down the role many times, namely because it was a remake that didn’t “leave time for a lot of fishing and horseback riding.” But after he read the script… “It starts with Matt Miller (Forever). He wrote a great script… I started reading this thing and I’m like, ‘F—k, how do I say no?’ [Riggs is] broken. I love playing broken people, but he’s also a badass, and I really like being a badass,” he explains. The idea of bringing something fresh to the character also sparked his interest. “I thought there was a real challenge, like there is when you do theater, playing these roles that we’ve seen people play a 100 times and bringing something new to it,” he says. “This obviously is not [King] Lear, but I was like ‘What can I do differently with Riggs, that Mel Gibson didn’t do?’”
A NEW BROMANCE TO ROOT FOR | Crawford and Wayans’ very watchable chemistry means “there’s going to be a lot of shenanigans,” Crawford says. “I think the beauty is, Damon and I really like one other and the banter’s easy, because he’s a f—king pro.” While trouble-making pair is going to find themselves in a lot of sticky situations throughout the season, there will not be a lack of laughs. “I think the whole goal is to bring comedy, drama and action, [like] The Avengers. I just need a cape,” Crawford jokes.
LOVE IS IN THE AIR | In the series premiere, we learn Riggs has a late wife, but will the eccentric cop find love again during the course of the series? “I think at some point they’re going to try to incorporate some kind of love interest… And it would be crazy if it was Jordana [Brewster],” he teased about his character’s relationship with Dr. Maureen “Mo” Cahill, played by the Dallas/Fast and the Furious actress.
STUNTS, STUNTS, STUNTS | Car chases, shootouts and explosions, oh my! If the first episode, which features stunts like Riggs jumping from one speeding car to another, is any indication, Lethal Weapon will be full of action and Crawford is up for the challenge. “Warner Bros. would not allow me to make the jump [off of the car onto the ground]… but everything else, 100 percent me,” he says. —Reporting by Kimberly Roots
COMING SOON – Beginning Sept. 21, Wednesdays are explosive, with the series premiere of Lethal Weapon and the return of Empire. Based on the hit movie franchise of the same name, Lethal Weapon (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT of FOX) follows iconic cop duo Riggs (Clayne Crawford, “Rectify”) and Murtaugh (Emmy Award nominee Damon Wayans, Sr., “My Wife and Kids,” “In Living Color”), as they work a crime-ridden beat in modern-day Los Angeles.
“It’s such a fun little, fun show, I’m excited to share it with the people and try to get a response,” Clayne Crawford, staring as Martin Riggs, said.
Fans on hand for the pilot premiere gave a great response during a viewing on Sunday. Crawford along with co-star Damon Wayans had the difficult task of reprising the lead roles of Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh.
“You can’t take on a role based on what someone else did I think that’s the challenge as an actor. ‘what can I bring to this?’ Crawford said.
“How could we recreated characters from that took the spirit of the original, iconic characters and make them their own?” Jennifer Gwartz, the executive producer of the show, said, “Most people who have seen the pilot have said it looks like a movie, I think we’ve delivered on those expectations.”
“It’s Lethal Weapon like a PG version so it’s a version that the whole family can enjoy.” Crawford said, “I think show is going to bring all of the dynamics that we love from Lethal Weapon, which is this relationship between these two guys that are so different, but the common thread is they are both broken. So with that they are kind of tethered to one another so you’ve got this tug of war between these two guys, and that’s where the comedy comes in. But it also lends itself to a lot of heart and of course we are going to make stuff go boom.”
Lethal Weapon will air on Wednesday’s at 7 P.M. central time on FOX.
INDEPENDENT – Back in 2013, a small TV show crawled onto US screens airing a modest debut season of six episodes. It returned for two more instalments in 2014 and 2015 with the show’s final episodes due later this year. It’s in this way that the series will bow out, not unlike a mouse in the corner of the room you never knew was there.
The show is Rectify. Developed by writer-director Ray McKinnon, the drama provided cable channel SundanceTV with its first original drama that may just be America’s best.
One read of the premise lures you in: Daniel Holden (Aden Young), imprisoned as a teenager for the rape and murder of a young girl, spends 19 years on death row before fresh DNA evidence throws the verdict into question. His release and ensuing assimilation back into society, however, won’t be easy; many of the townsfolk are convinced he’s guilty.
Early episodes are scattered with flashbacks serving as metaphorical open windows into Holden’s time behind bars which ultimately serve to combat his (silent) expression of innocence. They yank you back as you teeter on the precipice of making a decision regarding his potential guilt.
Crucially, this never becomes the show’s pull – instead, Rectify is intent on telling the story of a man forced to readjust to a freedom he never thought he’d be granted; it’s this that injects the series with an emotional heft.
It helps that Holden’s character is held up by Young, a staggeringly great Canadian-Australian actor whose most prominent film credit is extraordinarily the abysmal I, Frankenstein. The remainder of the ensemble is clearly relishing every second also: J. Smith-Cameron as Daniel’s long-suffering mother, Janet; Abigail Spencer as his bolshie sister, Amantha; and Luke Kirby as his kindly lawyer, Jon to pinpoint a few.
DIGITAL SPY – “If you don’t like extraordinary television, it’s not for you.”
Digital Spy put the question to lead actor Aden Young: if someone hasn’t watched Rectify before, why should they tune in now?
His answer may surprise you – but it’ll certainly leave you itching to binge the entire series!
Clayne Crawford – soon to be seen playing Riggs in Fox’s Lethal Weapon TV series – also recalls the first time he read the pilot script for Rectify in DS’s exclusive clip.
The award-winning Rectify tells the story of Daniel Holden (Young) – imprisoned as a teenager for the rape and murder of his 16-year-old girlfriend, Hanna.
After spending 19 years on death row, new DNA evidence vacates his original trial and Daniel must adjust to life back on the outside.
INVERSE – You might be inclined to dismiss FOX’s ‘Lethal Weapon.’ But this upcoming series may be the perfect complement to Murtaugh and Riggs’ adventures.
Last week, FOX revealed its upcoming lineup for the 2016-2017 fall season alongside trailers for some of its newest series. Among a slew of potential hits and misses, it was a reboot of a decades old action series that floated to the top of conversation. Already considered a divisive decision on the part of the network, the upcoming Lethal Weapon series has still managed to resonate with potential fans.
First announced back in February, the series will pair TV comedy icon Damon Wayans Sr, as detective and family man Roger Murtaugh, with Clayne Crawford, as suicidal brooder with a badge Martin Riggs. If you’re one of the people who watched the above trailer and felt yourself getting a little excited for this freshman show, trust your gut. At the moment, all signs point to Lethal Weapon being one of the most enjoyable new series of 2016.
FOX is Super Into It
It probably won’t come as a surprise to find out that Lethal Weapons parent network, FOX, is extremely hyped on the show, perhaps even more than they are for any show in their freshman slate. As the Hollywood Reporter pointed out:
“If airtime on the press call is any indication of what the Fox execs are most excited about, Lethal Weapon is the new series to watch. Walden described the reboot … as ‘muscular,’ ‘high-octane’ and ‘very broadly appealing,’ noting at one point that director McG and writer-producer Matt Miller ‘delivered exactly what we wanted.’”
Don’t get dissuaded by buzz words like “very broadly appealing,” either, because those words pretty accurately describe the entire movie series from its first entry.
‘Lethal Weapon’ Lends Itself To a Series
Here is the plot of every single Lethal Weapon film: some fella and his gang of assholes do some evil shit which pops up on the radar of forever-detectives Martin Riggs and Richard Murtaugh. Through the natural course of their job — which they take very seriously — the two men shoot their way through a variety of situations making jokes about how crazy Riggs is and how reluctant Roger is until someone coughs up the bad guy’s name in between mouthfuls of blood. More shooting mixed in with some brotherly bonding, roll credits.