Mel Gibson Reteaming with Shane Black on Cold Warrior

Had things worked out we could have seen Shane Black direct Gibson in a fifth Lethal Weapon installment. But since that project hit a production roadblock we have to wait. Even though Black left the series because of creative differences on Lethal Weapon 2, he and Gibson have wanted to work again. According to The Hollywood Reporter, there is word that Gibson is in talks to join Black’s spy thriller Cold Warrior, in which he would play a Cold War spy who comes out of retirement to confront domestic terrorism threat from Russia by working with a young agent.

As someone who is glad to see Gibson acting again, I like that he’ll be the aging pro – he did just turn fifty-four after all. I had trepidation at Bruce Willis playing John McClane in a fourth Die Hard movie, but he proved me wrong. It seems that the public has grown tired of the new crop of action stars, so we are seeing a resurgence of the old school: Stallone, Willis (though he never truly left the spotlight), and now Gibson. I’d even throw Liam Neeson in there, because it seems the audience just last year rediscovered at what a bad-ass he truly is – totally forgetting that he mentored Batman and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Not to mention he gave Ben Stiller a shotgun death in Next of Kin.

I do have reservations about what the script of Cold Warrior will entail, since it is not an original screenplay by Black. But if newcomer Charles Mondry has an adherence to Black’s humor then Cold Warrior could be one to watch in 2011. Now the question remains on who will be the one to team up with Gibson?

He may not play the young operative, but I’d love to see Robert Downey Jr. have a role. He’s worked with Black and producer Joel Silver on Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang and Mel Gibson did cast him in The Singing Detective (and in 1990 they headlined Air America). In both films Downey had the lead role, and it came at a time where producers didn’t want to cast him, because of his drug dependency issues in the past. Now he’s one of the biggest stars in Hollywood at the moment because of two tentpole franchises.

His dance card is getting pretty full, since a sequel to Sherlock Holmes is close to gearing into production. But it’s a Warner Bros. production just like Cold Warrior. I’m sure Joel Silver can give him some leeway to at least do a cameo.

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