Sequel-Happy Eddie Murphy Back for "Beverly Hills Cop IV"
Variety reports that Murphy and "Transformers" producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura are spearheading the project at Paramount, which the studio hopes will revive the popular film franchise. A script is still in the works.
"Beverly Hills Cop" 1, 2, and 3
Di Bonaventura thinks another "Beverly Hills Cop" is just what audiences need: "Axel Foley is one of the great action-comedy characters, a character that Eddie loves. I'm lucky enough to help bring it back," di Bonaventura said. "This genre is missing from the landscape."
The original Martin Brest-directed "Beverly Hills Cop" opened to stellar numbers in 1984 -- $234 million in the U.S. -- and catapulted Murphy into box office stardom in what was only his fourth feature role. Three years later, Tony Scott ("Déjà Vu") took the reins and directed the first sequel to a $153 million domestic return.
One of Murphy's most recent roles, in "Daddy Day Care"
But then came 1994's "Beverly Hills Cop III," helmed by prolific comedy director John Landis ("Animal House," "The Blues Brothers," "Coming To America"). The third installment, set in a crooked LA theme park, only made $44 million domestically (with a budget estimated at between $55 and $70 million), effectively killing the franchise. Until now.
No production date has been set for the fourth Axel F. flick, although you can assume it'll be a while until the super-busy Murphy can clear his schedule; on his slate are the December musical "Dreamgirls," February's fat-suit extravaganza "Norbit," and the animated sequel "Shrek the Third," not to mention three more films in pre-production (sci-fi comedy "Starship Dave," a heist caper for Brett Ratner, and a reimagining of "Romeo and Juliet" for DreamWorks).
On a side note, it seems series regular Judge Reinhold should come back for "Beverly Hills Cop IV" -- his schedule seems rather free after this season's "Santa Clause 3 - The Escape Clause."