To celebrate the release of the first season of Lethal
First up are the show’s leads, Damon Wayans and Clayne Crawford who are the new Murtaugh and Riggs, taking over from Danny Glover and Mel Gibson who starred in the films. Both men had been huge fans of the original films and reminisced about the first time they saw the original:
“I never saw the originals. I don’t even know who Danny Glover is!” Damon Wayans says at the start of our chat with the pair as he also wrestles with a fly that seemed to hover above us for the duration (none of us managed to catch it).
He continues: “I remember seeing it in the theatre, seeing Mel Gibson running down the street and him cracking his shoulder – there are so many moments I can play in my head. It’s awesome.”
Crawford, who says he saw the first film was he was young, said: “The script was awesome. And when I read it I felt emotion, which is rare in television. And after I read it, I put all my fears aside and thought there is something really special here and that we should do it.”
When the show was first pitched to them, both were apprehensive about the possibility of the films being remade for television but on reading the script and hearing the concepts for the show, they quickly changed their minds.
“I think I was just saying no because of the idea, it just seemed like such a foolish idea. I’m a little over all the remakes, you know? I think there’s some really great original content out there so I said ‘Could we call it something different and still keep the relationship and keep it in the vein of (the originals)?’ But then I read it and like Damon I realised that we weren’t trying to recreate what they did, we were just taking the relationship and that tug of war and that dynamic interested me.”
Another slight reservation for Wayans was the prospect of the show being aired in a Prime Time slot in the US, given the adult nature of the films (all rated 15/18) but he found that such restrictions allowed for a better show and would allow a larger audience to tune in:
“When they first said we were going to air at 8pm there’s a lot of restrictions but those restrictions actually make the show better and makes it more universal. And it’s a nice way to escape – this is a show that everyone can watch together.”
Lethal Weapon: The Complete First Season is out on Blu-ray and DVD on September 25th.