At Monday night’s “Lethal Weapon” premiere, nostalgia was a no-show at the NeueHouse Hollywood. While the ’80s and ’90s buddy cop film franchise was mentioned here and there, producers made a note to introduce the TV remake without dwelling too much on the past.
“We probably relied on the film most for the pilot episode and after that it really stands on its own,” said exec producer Dan Lin. “We bring characters back from the movie, but we put a new spin on those characters we’re introducing in the pilot.”
Although creator Matt Miller‘s fresh take of the films was applauded, he shared that the Fox series wouldn’t have had the network’s stamp of approval if they didn’t cast the “right guys” in the starring roles.
“You have to find at least the people to play two of the most iconic characters in the history of film, Murtaugh and Riggs,” recalled Fox Television Group co-CEO and chairman Gary Newman. “Damon Wayans and Clayne Crawford, you’ll see it tonight, their chemistry [in the show] is palpable.”
On the carpet, Wayans credited his ability to perform chemistry with just about anyone. From co-starring with David Allen Grier in classic comedy sketches on “In Loving Color” to leading “My Wife in Kids” with Tisha Campbell-Martin, Wayans shared that it was his ten brothers and sisters who helped perfect his onscreen performances with others.
“This is ‘My Wife and Guns,'” Wayans quipped about falling perfectly into the role of Roger Murtaugh – which was originally perfected by Danny Glover alongside Mel Gibson in the films. “I grew up with 10 [brothers and sisters], and I think growing up with all those siblings helps because you’re used to different personalities and it just prepares you for the different personalities that you face in show business.”
Additional guests included exec producers McG and Jennifer Gwartz, co-stars Kevin Rahm, Keesha Sharp, Johnathan Fernandez, Maureen Cahill and other supporting cast members. “Empire” star Bryshere Gray was also on-hand to support the freshman series.
After the screening, the party moved upstairs to the third floor rooftop where guests were welcomed by a fingerprinting station before enjoying the buffet and open bar.
“Lethal Weapon” premieres Sept. 21 on Fox.