Is Damon Wayans done with Lethal Weapon?
Three months after Wayans revealed in a shocking interview that he planned to leave the Fox series after the current third season due to health reasons, it appears that the forecast regarding his future has gotten a lot rosier.
“He’s in a beautiful headspace right now and it’s really, honestly, a negotiation more than it is ‘I don’t want to come back,'” Lethal Weapon showrunner Matt Miller told a small group of reporters on Wednesday at the Television Critics Association press tour of Wayans’ intentions now. “I think he’s in a good headspace right now.’
In an October interview with Electronic Urban Report, Wayans said he was planning on quitting Fox’s action drama after production on the third season, which was bumped up to 15 episodes, wrapped in December.
“I am going to be quitting the show in December after we finish the initial 13 [episodes],” the 58-year-old actor said in the video interview. “I don’t know what they’re planning, but that’s what I’m planning.”
In the interview, Wayans cited his age, being diabetic and “16-hour days,” as primary reasons for his decision to leave the Warner Bros. TV-produced series. When asked by the interviewer if he was “over it,” Wayans confirmed that he was “done.”
Miller addressed Wayans’ comments on Wednesday, revealing that it was eye-opening for everyone involved with the show and shared the steps they took to ensure that the veteran actor was comfortable with his demands.
“As a result of that, it sort of made us sit down, roll up our sleeves and say, ‘OK, we’re now really hearing you. What do you need?'” Miller said. “He was tired. It was a cry for help. We all sat down and we worked on some hours and ways to fix his schedule.”
“Since that time, it has been an absolute delight making this show. He has come to work with a smile. It was tough for him. He’s not a young guy, and this is a crazy show to make. The stunts that we do and the amount of time we have, it’s really, really grueling,” he added. “All I can say without deferring to him is he’s in Hawaii right now… He and Seann [William Scott] got along great. It was really a charmed experience from that moment until right now.”
Asked if a hypothetical fourth season were to be ordered by Fox, would both Wayans and Scott return? “Yes, that’s the plan,” Miller told ET.
“I’m extremely confident in a season four being excellent and I’m extremely hopeful that we’ll get a season four. I think it’ll depend on a couple of factors, Fox certainly being one of them and some of the internal financial conversations we have to figure out at Warner Bros.,” he continued. “We have a pitch for season four and it takes season three and spins it on its head and feels like a really, really fun dynamic for season four that we’ll take to Fox and pitch to them.”
Earlier in the day, Fox Entertainment president Charlie Collier addressed Lethal Weapon‘s rocky existence on the network and if they’ve weighed whether the on-set, behind-the-scenes drama is worth keeping it around.
“What you’re referring to predates me, but I actually think that show has hit its stride well. I’ve been told by the studio and the producers that they’re running in lockstep and I think what’s on the screen reflects that,” Collier said. “With respect to the way we judge the performance of a show, it is really show by show and case by case, and frankly, specifically over the last few weeks that show has done quite well.”
Lethal Weapon returns Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Fox.