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Surprising Facts Most People Don't Know About 'Lethal Weapon'

Updated May 16, 2019 18.7k views12 items
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There’s no arguing that Lethal Weapon is one of the best action movies of all time, let alone one of the best '80s cop movies ever released. By pairing Murtaugh and Riggs together, writer Shane Black and director Richard Donner created one of the most legendary duos of all time. Even if you're a super-fan of one of the greatest action franchises to date, there are probably still a few things you don't know about the Lethal Weapon series. Since everyone working on the films loved the narrative, there are plenty of behind-the-scenes stories from Lethal Weapon to entertain movie buffs who can't get enough.

Whether you're interested in learning that Mel Gibson did his own stunts or what Shane Black used to type the script that sold for $400,000, this strange Lethal Weapon trivia has more surprising facts than you could imagine. 

  • Carrie Fisher Was A Script Doctor On 'LW 3'

    After putting her Princess Leia days behind her (at least for a little while), the late, great Carrie Fisher worked as a script doctor on a bunch of movies, including LW 3. A script doctor is someone who does an uncredited pass at a script and essentially reworks it, either by adding jokes, exposition, or even retooling the entire thing. 

    While talking about her life as a script doctor, Fisher explained why she was hired: "I write good love scenes and I write good women." As for, LW 3, Fisher likely had a hand in the character development of Rene Russo's Sgt. Lorna Cole. 

  • The Scene Where Riggs Attempts To Take His Life Took Four Weeks To Film

    One of the hardest scenes to watch in the entire franchise is when Riggs attempts to take his own life while watching the Bugs Bunny's Looney Christmas TalesRiggs loads his piece and holds it to his head before finally putting it down. Richard Donner told Empire that this was the most difficult moment to shoot. 

    Donner said they filmed the scene twice but "Mel wasn’t happy with it." Instead of making Gibson work it until they got what they wanted, the crew waited around the set "for weeks" until the actor finally said, "Hey, can we do that scene?" 

    Donner told Empire:

    The camera operator was sitting on the dolly, crying his eyes out. The camera’s shaking and I’m crying too. And then Mel started hitting himself on the head with the gun. I was worried about him, but I let him go.

  • Gibson Did Some Of His Most Intense Stunts Himself

    In both the first and third films in the franchise, Gibson did some of his biggest stunts himself, and it scared the hell out of everyone on set. In the infamous scene where Riggs jumps off a building with a businessperson, Gibson is actually the one who took the leap. He told Empire that he felt prepared until he got up to the top and realized what he signed up for, but he wasn't going to back out with everyone watching. 

    Donner says that in the big motorcycle freeway chase, he assumed a stunt person would be riding the bike and was shocked when he saw Gibson instead. He said:

    We had to do a free run where the motorcycle emerges from a cloud of steam. It’s supposed to be Mickey, his stunt guy. But out of the steam comes Mel. I’m ready to [end] him. Not that I care about his safety, but he’s going to f*ck up my picture if he gets [in an accident].

  • Shane Black Typed The Script For The First Two Films On An Old Typewriter

    According to a People interview from 1987, Shane Black wrote all of his early scripts on an "ancient" $50 Remington typewriter. Even after selling the first LW and being paid a quarter of a million dollars for the sequel, he insisted on writing on that Remington. 

    Years later, he said that LW 2 was "one of the hardest scripts [he's] ever written," and it's likely part of it was due to him writing the whole first draft on a typewriter.