The third season of FOX’s Lethal Weapon will premiere tonight at 8 p.m ET. Fans who have grown used to the chemistry between cops Martin Riggs (Clayne Crawford) and Roger Murtaugh (Damon Wayans, Jr.) will be in for a shock, however, as the show plans to undergo a huge casting change.
Crawford, who rose to fame playing the unhinged and heroic Riggs, was released from the show after Deadline reported that he had been emotionally abusive on set and creating a hostile environment for the rest of the cast. His character, who was shot at the end of the second season, will be written out, and Murtaugh will be paired with a new partner named Wesley Cole. American Pie alum Seann William Scott will play Cole starting this season.
Riggs Will Be Written Out Of the Show for a New Character Named Wesley Cole
Cole’s name is an homage to Lorna Cole, the character played by Rene Russo in the third and fourth Lethal Weapon films, but showrunner Matt Miller says the references to the past end there. Miller told Deadline that the idea for the character came from an article in the New Yorker. “It was about a CIA agent who had served overseas in Iraq and had became very disillusioned,” he explained. “He came back and became a cop but his philosophy as a cop was not to run in and shoot people, take down bad guys. What he was looking to do is always defuse the situations as opposed to escalate them.”
Miller goes on to say that Cole will be positioned as a calmer, less confrontational force than the Riggs character. “He is the opposite to Riggs who had a lot of anger and a lot of angst, who is looking to go in and maybe shoot all the bad guys,” he said. “This is a guy who is looking to go into a situation with the bad guys and say, ‘ok, guys we can talk about this’. Of course the situations evolve always, chaos follows him wherever he goes; we still want the action comedy, all the explosions, all the drama all the set pieces.”
Showrunner Matt Miller Claims That Cole Will Be a Calmer, Less Confrontational Cop Than Riggs
The season three opener, which takes place six months after the events of season two, is said to feel of Lethal Weapon will feel like a series premiere, with Cole introduced in a way similar to Riggs’ debut in the pilot.
“We open the season the same way we did in the pilot where we met Riggs and heard about his backstory. The same thing happens with this character Cole,” Miller said. “We are going to meet him abroad, see the circumstances, the tragedy that sends him back to LA. At the same time, we are going to wrap up Riggs’ demise.” Returning cast members include Jordana Brewster as Dr. Maureen Cahill, Keesha Sharp as Murtaugh’s wife Trish, and Kevin Rahm as Captain Brooks Avery.