Will Lethal Weapon 5 Be The Rehabilitation of Mel Gibson?

Waiting for Mel Gibson to stop disgracing himself is probably too much like counting down the days until he's dead for it to be an idea I'm entirely comfortable with. At the moment, however, the popular opinion meter's needle is clearly in the red zone with this guy and it makes a lot of sense to leave The Beaver, his latest acting gig, on the shelf a little while. A shame – because the film has a strong cast and very, very good screenplay. I'm torn – I both want to see it now, right now, and I also want it to be released at a time when it's most likely to find its biggest audience.

But what could cool off the running rage against Mel?

According to Australian movie site What's Playing, Gibson is considering a return to his most populist and marketable franchise. They quote an unnamed source as saying producer Joel Silver and Gibson have been talking about another sequel in the series:

They're talking again. Mel probably needs Joel, not to mention Lethal Weapon now more than ever, so I wouldn't at all be surprised if it comes off this time. And it could be a good move, that's a mighty big brand name – it probably would help Gibson, professionally-speaking. I'm not in on those conversations though – so I don't know how they're progressing. You're getting this third-hand.

So who initiated talks, do you suppose? Gibson on his knees? Silver circling, like a vulture?