The action comedy Tower Heist looks to be a return to form of the type of films that Eddie Murphy first built his movie career on in the1980s and early 90s. But while out doing the publicity rounds for the upcoming film, he put to rest the idea that he might be revisiting one of his classic earlier movie characters one more time.
Rolling Stone has a big interview piece with Murphy coming up in their next print issue and they teased it online today with a quote where Murphy rules out the possibility of fourth Beverly Hills Cop film. Instead, he states that he would like to see the franchise transition to television and focus on a hitherto unseen son for his Axel Foley character.
They’re not doing it [Beverly Hills Cop IV]. What I’m trying to do now is produce a TV show starring Axel Foley’s son, and Axel is the chief of police now in Detroit. I’d do the pilot, show up here and there. None of the movie scripts were right; it was trying to force the premise. If you have to force something, you shouldn’t be doing it. It was always a rehash of the old thing. It was always wrong.
Is Murphy also obliquely referring to some of the broad family comedy films that he’s done in recent years that haven’t performed so well at the box office when he states “If you have to force something, you shouldn’t be doing it”?
Possibly, as Murphy went on to say –
I don’t have any interest in that [family films] right now. There’s really no blueprint, but I’m trying to do some edgy stuff. And I only want to do what I really want to do, otherwise I’m content to sit here and play my guitar all day. I always tell people now that I’m a semiretired gentleman of leisure, and occasionally I’ll go do some work to break the boredom up.
This is great news as far as I’m concerned. As a teenager in the 80s, an Eddie Murphy film meant you were getting a certain blend of action and comedy in films like Beverly Hills Cop and 48 Hours or the straight up comedy of Trading Places.
But as he transitioned over to family films, and often times not very good ones at that, he seemed to dilute his brand. Even appearances in good films like Bowfinger and Dreamgirls couldn’t totally polish up his tarnished image. Hopefully by picking and choosing his projects more carefully, we can avoid such things such as Pluto Nash and Meet Dave.
Now if he can just explain how doing the voice for Hong Kong Phooey is part of the “edgy stuff.”