Netflix has struck a deal with Paramount Pictures to make a fourth Beverly Hills Cop film featuring Eddie Murphy. The agreement calls for the streamer to produce one movie starring Murphy as fast talking cop Axel Foley, with an option for a second if the first were to be successful.
Paramount has been working for years trying to get a fourth installment of the franchise going. 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 2015 over Murphy’s concerns with the screenplay.
Murphy has been certainly getting a lot of attention lately with the positive audience and critic reaction to My Name Is Dolemite, the biopic about comic-turned-blaxploitation star Rudy Ray Moore, which Netflix is distributing. It certainly makes sense that the streamer would want to continue to ride that wave of popularity as best they can by offering to make Beverly Hills Cop 4. The deal also benefits Paramount. Having spent millions already in various rounds of development on the project, they can reap that money back in the form of a license fee from Netflix, get a new franchise installment and don’t have to invest any more of their own cash.
There is no word yet as to a release date or even how Netflix is going to release the film. But I would not be surprised if the streamer treated it as one of its award-contenders and got it into theaters for a short run before debuting it online.
Murphy is currently in production on another sequel to one of his classic comedies, Coming 2 America. Production on Beverly Hills Cop 4 is expected to start sometime in the new year.