After a number of false starts, including a side trip to a failed TV series pilot,a fourth Beverly Hills Cop movie starring Eddie Murphy appears to be going forward.
Deadline is reporting that Paramount has hired Belgian writer/director team Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah to film Beverly Hills Cop 4. It turns out that the studio and producer Jerry Bruckheimer were very much taken with the duo’s drama Black, which won the Discovery Award at the Toronto Film Festival last year.
El Arbi and Fallah will be working from a screenplay by Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec. Deadline states the script “will bring Murphy’s street smart cop character Axel Foley back to his Detroit origins.” That to me sounds like they’re sort of forgetting that the comedy and appeal of the original film, and to a lesser extent the two sequels, is the fish-out-of-water element of Murphy’s character among the rich and snooty of Beverly Hills high society.
Back in 2008, director Brett Ratner was working with screenwriters Michael Brandt and Derek Haas on a story that saw Axel returning to Beverly Hills to investigate the murder of his old friend Billy Rosewood (Judge Reinhold from the previous three films). In 2014, following a failed attempt to launch a TV spinoff that would have centered on Axel Foley’s son, Paramount announced new plans to have a fourth installment in theaters by March of 2016. They pulled the film from their release schedule in May of last year over Murphy’s concerns with the screenplay.
Murphy launched the franchise of the Detroit cop who repeatedly finds his way to Beverly Hills in the course of his investigations as his career was in its ascendency back in 1984 with director Martin Brest. Subsequent entries in 1987 and 1994 were directed by Tony Scott and John Landis respectively.
There is no announced release date for the film.