In the next couple of years, several high-profile and iconic franchises will be breaking years (or decades) of silence and make much-anticipated returns to theaters; even Ghostbusters 3 was able to break out of development hell in the form of a Paul Feig helmed reboot. However, one brand hasn’t been so lucky in getting back off the ground: Beverly Hills Cop.
The blockbuster action/comedy series starring Eddie Murphy has long attempted to introduce a new generation to the world of Axel Foley; first in a failed television series and again in a fourth feature film. That latter project seemed close to becoming a reality (with the hope of starting production this spring), but things aren’t moving as fast as Paramount would like – and now, the project has lost its former release date.
The Wrap broke the news, saying that Beverly Hills Cop 4 remains in development, but is not moving along as quickly as the studio had originally hoped. Murphy, near the beginning of 2015, indicated the lack of a final script (reportedly written by Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemac) was the primary reason why progress on the sequel has stalled. It sounds as if the creative team (which includes director Brett Ratner) are still trying to iron things out.
In all honesty, it’s probably best for Paramount that Beverly Hills Cop 4 be delayed. Initially, the studio had set a March 25, 2016 release date for it. Our readers probably know that as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Day, which would’ve put Officer Foley in a very tight spot (with regards to box office returns). Yes, Axel is one of the most recognizable and beloved characters in all of comedy, but even he can’t compete with Bruce Wayne and Kal-El coming to blows.
The largest priority for Beverly Hills Cop 4 right now is getting the necessary pieces in place. Murphy still hasn’t officially signed on for the film – even though Axel is the plot’s primary focus – and the aforementioned screenplay issue needs to be worked out for anything can happen. All in all, it sounds like we’re still a long ways away from this film making the elusive jump from concept to principal photography.
At this point, though, one has to wonder if Beverly Hills Cop 4 is even worth Paramount’s time. The 1984 original became the highest-grossing film of that year with $234.7 million domestically ($545.2 when adjusted for inflation), but ever since then, the franchise has seen diminishing returns. The most recent film, 1994’s Beverly Hills Cop 3, managed only $42.6 million Stateside – an illustration of how Axel’s commercial standing in the movie industry deteriorated over the years. After so many years off the big screen, how different will things be for the series in today’s Hollywood?
Meanwhile, Paramount will be expanding the Transformers movie universe and releasing new installments in franchises like Star Trek in the near future, so the studio doesn’t need to force Beverly Hills Cop 4 for the sake of having another franchise. Time will tell if Axel makes his return, but for now it’s best if fans don’t get their hopes up.
We’ll keep you updated on Beverly Hills Cop 4 as more information becomes available.
Source: The Wrap