Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros and producer Joel Silver have set Will Beall to write Lethal Weapon, with a take that will relaunch the buddy cop series with a new cast. Beall, a former LA police officer who patrolled South Central and wrote the novel L.A. Rex, has seen his stock rise at the studio because of his script Gangster Squad, the period crime drama about an elite crime squad that fought against organized crime kingpins like Mickey Cohen. Zombieland helmer Ruben Fleischer has come aboard to direct that film.

Warner Bros has been messing around for some time with Lethal Weapon 5, with a treatment written by original scribe Shane Black. The plan was to bring the original team back, but schedules didn’t match up and Mel Gibson’s image has taken a self-inflicted beating.  Beall pitched a take that maintains the tone of the original–a hard R-rated edgy street cop movie. Beall’s repped by CAA and Management 360.

For all of Deadline's headlines, follow us @Deadline on Twitter.