In 1987, Warner Bros. released a film that would become the first of a franchise that would codify the “buddy-cop” story genre, “Lethal Weapon”. The crime-busting misadventures of a veteran police detective overdue for retirement and a younger trigger-happy narcotics-agent partner was pure action-comedy gold, making big names for lead stars Mel Gibson and Danny Glover. Eighteen years after the last “Lethal Weapon” movie, Fox premiered a TV series remake in 2016. Its second season concluded May 8; but despite its performance, Fox has put the show in peril due to cast difficulties leading to one lead star getting sacked.
According to USA Today, Fox and Warner Bros. Television has announced that following the conclusion of season 2 for “Lethal Weapon”, they have let go of actor Clayne Crawford, who portrays maverick cop Martin Riggs (played by Gibson in the films) and one half of the main character duo. The firing of one of the show’s stars has led to a hurried phase of recasting the role of Riggs, with several other actors notified. On a grim note, should no suitable replacement be found for Crawford by May 14, Fox will have no recourse but to cancel the series then.
Both Fox and Warner Bros. TV have declined to comment on the matter, but it is well known in entertainment news from last month that Crawford has been a troublesome cast member. The studio has officially reprimanded him for engaging in “emotional” abuse and generating “hostile working conditions” while on set. Crawford eventually issued a statement of apology on his Instagram account, but by then the series was wrapping up in the air and the higher-up apparently felt that it was time to cut him loose. Executives from the two companies have noted however, that no decisions have been finalized.
That said, should a replacement for Clayne Crawford be found to assume the role of Martin Riggs next to Damon Wayans (who portrays Danny Glover’s character Roger Murtaugh), then “Lethal Weapon” is due a third-season run on Fox. Of course, whether or not the show goes on, its season 2 finale cliffhanger does have a measure of gravitas in it, with Crawford as Riggs bleeding in a heap before his wife’s grave after being shot point-blank. If season 3 is a go then he’ll likely survive (with a change of face); if it’s cancelled, then Riggs had a good end.
Photo courtesy of TVLine