A critic once said Lethal Weapon was the easiest movie to adapt into a TV show

By: H&I Staff     Posted: July 3, 2023, 11:40AM    Tags: Lethal Weapon, Damon Wayans

Have you ever watched a show so unhinged that you can't seem to turn away from your screen? That was Lethal Weapon to viewers when it debuted in 2016. Starring Damon Wayans, Clayne Crawford and Kevin Rahm, the series was a television adaptation of the classic 1987 movie. The film starred Mel Gibson and Danny Glover and grossed approximately $120 million with only a $15 million budget!

It was nominated for Best Sound at the Academy Awards and is seen as one of the greatest buddy-cop movies ever. So, with its success, it was bound to be turned into a television show decades later... because the industry can't get enough of remakes. In the television show, Wayans (Roger Murtaugh) and Rahm (Brooks Avery) are total opposites, but that doesn't stop fate from pairing them together.

A lot of the movie concepts and humor were placed into the FOX series, which, according to Jeff Simon, who wrote an article for The Buffalo News, made it "addictive." In his written piece, Simon described Lethal Weapon as "a reasonably addictive TV show hewed out of a series of slam-bang action extravaganzas that once starred Mel Gibson and Danny Glover and made a small fortune."

He added, "[It] was the easiest to adapt. The movies proved the original film could be turned into a series of films with the same characters." What's one critical part of creating a successful remake? Matching the actors.

Simon claimed that Mel Gibson, in real life, was "known to be a wee bit nuts." That ultimately made the character he played hard to match because a bit of his personality was effortlessly seen in the role. However, when FOX cast Clayne Crawford, they knew it would be comedic gold!

"Once they cast Clayne Crawford in Gibson's nutsy role, Lethal Weapon, the TV show was a near-certain winner. Nothing against Wayans (who plays Glover's character), but it's Crawford as the scruffy, disreputable cop who makes it," Jeff Simon wrote.

The show ended in 2019 for various reasons, but it probably would've lasted longer if "behind-the-scenes problems" were fixed.

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