'Lethal Weapon' writer Shane Black is directing

Mel Gibson is in talks to star in Universal Pictures’ spy thriller “Cold Warrior.”

Project reunites Gibson with “Lethal Weapon” scribe Shane Black, who is helming.

Based on a script by Chuck Mondry, pic centers on a spy from the Cold War era who comes out of retirement to team with a younger agent from the new school to confront a domestic terrorism threat orchestrated by Russia.

Pic will be produced by Michelle Manning (“The Eye”). David Greenblatt and Anthony Bagarozzi are also producing.Gibson has been absent from the bigscreen ever since his 2006 drunken-driving arrest, when he reportedly made anti-Semitic remarks. In the ensuing years, Hollywood’s majors have been reluctant to cast the actor in a starring role, and Gibson has instead signed on to a number of independently financed projects, including “Edge of Darkness,” which opens Friday. He recently completed production on Jodie Foster’s “Beaver.”

“Cold Warrior” marks the actor’s return to toplining a studio-backed project.

Gibson will begin shooting in March the indie action drama “How I Spent My Summer Vacation,” based on a screenplay he penned. He told Daily Variety that he is hoping to segue to “Cold Warrior” in June. Gibson also recently committed to direct Leonardo DiCaprio in a pic about Viking culture to be financed by GK Films. That pic has no start date.

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