It's been something of a bumpy year for super-producer Jerry Bruckheimer. The resounding failure of the Bruckheimer-produced, Gore Verbinski-directed The Lone Ranger (Disney is expected to take an estimated $190 million loss on the blockbuster) has led to Bruckheimer's loss of final cut on Pirates of the Caribbean 5 and the ultimate delay of that film until 2016.
Variety reports that Bruckheimer is considering joining what would be the third sequel in the Beverly Hills Cop franchise as a producer. The project was in development limbo for years until series star Eddie Murphy and producer Shawn Ryan attempted to bring the franchise back as a TV series. Despite Murphy's involvement, CBS passed on the show, and only a pilot was produced, starring Murphy and Tropic Thunder's Brandon T. Jackson playing the son of Murphy's character, Axel Foley.
Even though the pilot was directed by Men in Black's Barry Sonnenfeld, no other network would pick up the series, a setback which seemed to permanently end all hope of the franchise's revival. Bruckheimer, who produced the first two movies with his late partner Don Simpson, was not involved in the pilot's production (or the third film). That one episode apparently tested well enough to not only send the project back to Paramount to develop a fourth big-screen entry, but also entice Bruckheimer to enter talks with the studio to produce.
As for the long-in-development Bad Boys 3, we've haven't been given an update so much as a reminder that the project still exists. Bruckheimer is "helping to develop the script" for the third installment in the franchise which put Michael Bay on the map - which actually sounds more optimistic than past reports, which essentially had Bruckheimer stating that the sequel was more hopes and dreams than anything else.
Given that The Lone Ranger is a shoe-in for this year's John Carter-sized mega-flop award, one wonders if circling back to two more old franchises (or three, when you consider that Top Gun 2 also appears to be a priority for Bruckheimer and Paramount) is really the wisest move for the producer.
That said, The Lone Ranger - as has been pointed out many times - was based on a nearly-forgotten property and suffered from a botched execution, while the Bad Boys and Beverly Hills Cop brands appear to have enough nostalgia-and-star power going for them (relatively speaking) to make their development worthwhile.
With Pirates 5 delayed until 2016, Bruckheimer appears to have an open window to fast track these - after his thriller Beware the Night starring Olivia Munn and Eric Bana finishes filming, Bruckheimer is expected to step in and delve into Beverly Hills Cop 4's pre-production.
Beverly Hills Cop 4 and Bad Boys 3 are currently in development, with no release date set. Stay turned for more details as they surface.