Warner Bros. is looking at making another “Lethal Weapon” movie and they have offered the lead role to Chris Hemsworth. Hemsworth is no stranger to franchise opportunities, playing Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and also trying to help kickstart a Snow White franchise in “Snow White and the Huntsman.” His brother Liam Hemsworth also stars in “The Hunger Games” franchise.
The signing of Hemsworth is only partially a way to reboot the “Lethal Weapon” franchise, but more than that it is an opportunity to make the new movie a sequel to the original films. Hemsworth, an Australian actor, seems to be a fitting replacement for fellow countryman Mel Gibson in the film. Warner Bros. plans are to cast Hemsworth as the son of Gibson’s Riggs. This would allow them to keep Gibson in a minor role but move the franchise in a new direction. Here is a look at some other examples of Hollywood trying to pass the torch in a major franchise on to a younger star.
“A Good Day to Die Hard”
The most recent example comes from the exact same time frame. Around the same time that Mel Gibson broke new ground in the buddy cop genre in “Lethal Weapon,” Bruce Willis changed how action heroes looked as John McClane in “Die Hard.” Willis’ franchise outlived Gibson’s and in 2013, Fox tried to keep the franchise alive with a new hero, introducing Jai Courtney as Jack McClane, John’s son in “A Good Day to Die Hard.” The movie received a critical panning and Willis is considering another movie in the series with no mention yet of his on-screen son.
“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”
In 2008, a brand new Indiana Jones movie came out and the early word was that they were introducing the son of Indiana Jones, someone who could carry the franchise into the future. By the time “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” hit theaters, it seemed that the idea of Mutt Williams being Indiana’s son was pushed aside, although there was still consideration for actor Shia LaBeouf to carry on the tradition. LaBeouf ended up carrying the first three “Transformers” movies in that franchise instead and Indiana Jones has not been seen since.
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
The “Lethal Weapon” passing of the torch is not the only Mel Gibson property about to come out with a younger man replacing the former Hollywood star. Originally, “Mad Max: Fury Road” was announced in 2003. By 2012, the film was finally shooting and Tom Hardy came aboard as the lead character. While the director of the original “Mad Max,” George Miller is returning, Gibson is not. The plot details are scarce, but there are thoughts that this could take place years after the original movies with Hardy’s character a descendent of the original Mad Max.