Several days after it was formally acknowledged that Clayne Crawford’s contract would not be renewed after claims of behind-the-scenes misconduct on the set of Lethal Weapon, the future of the show is now coming into focus. Crawford admitted there had been problems and that he had been disciplined but felt his concerns and actions had been justified at the time. The studio did not feel the same way, though many of his fellow actors have spoke highly of him since the news broke.
Once Crawford’s departure was formalised, it was generally believed that there were only two real options: that the show could be cancelled alongside FOX‘s bloodbath of series cuts announced this past week (though the studio and production company were loathed to do so as it had been a prominent and money-making success to date) or that Clayne’s role as Martin Riggs (originally essayed by Mel Gibson in the film franchise) would be recast. It appears neither of those things have happened.
Lethal Weapon now has been formally renewed but with the revelation that Seann William Scott will be coming onto the show but as a new character, not Martin Riggs. Fans of the show know that the second season was left on a cliffhanger when Riggs was set to depart LA back to Texas but was shot at point-blank range at the cemetery where his wife was buried. The scene was apparently written and shot before the news of Crawford’s departure were decided, but it certainly gives the writers a way out of Riggs’ storyline should they choose to do so.
“Seann is a fantastic addition to this already amazing cast,” said Fox Entertainment president Michael Thorn in a statement. “Lethal Weapon is packed with action, drama and pure fun and we can’t wait to see Damon and Seann together on screen. Matt Miller, his incredible team and everyone at Warner Bros. have been tremendous partners, and we’re thrilled to bring this show back for another season.”
The decision was made, according to industry site Deadline, after Scott met with co-lead Daman Wayans to discuss the role this weekend – and just ahead of the necessary pick-up news that needed to be agreed in the next few days. This will be the first time Scott has been a series regular, though he is known for the role of ‘Stifler’ in the American Pie films as well as Bulletproof Monk, The Dukes of Hazzard and as a prolific voice-actor for animated films such as the Ice Age franchise.
So far, the expected fall-out to the news has been as controversial as one might expect.