Netflix has picked up the rights to Beverly Hill Cops 4, with Eddie Murphy attached to star. After years of headlining box office bombs and under-seen films, Murphy is currently in the midst of making a major comeback. In addition to generating Oscar buzz for his performance in Netflix's acclaimed biopic Dolemite Is My Name, Murphy has the sequel Coming 2 America arriving in 2020 and has announced his plans to return to standup comedy next year. On top of all that, it appears his days of playing Axel Foley are far from behind him.
While he was promoting Dolemite back in October, Murphy raised eyebrows when he claimed the longtime-developing Beverly Hills Cop 4 will be his next movie, after Coming 2 America. There's been talk of the project happening on and off throughout the twenty-five years since Beverly Hills Cop III hit theaters in 1994, but nothing to show for it so far (other than a failed TV spinoff about Foley's son). However, that may finally change, now that Netflix has entered the equation.
According to Deadline, Netflix has now secured the rights to Beverly Hills Cop 4 (with an option for a sequel) from Paramount. With financing taken care of, it falls to Murphy and producer Jerry Bruckheimer to get the script together, in addition to a supporting cast and director.
In hindsight, this development makes a good deal of sense. Murphy and Netflix's relationship has been mutually beneficial so far, with Dolemite Is My Name giving the streamer a crowd-pleasing contender in this year's awards season. The pair have even been talking about having Murphy record his standup specials for Netflix next year, marking his first time on-stage since the 1980s. What's unusual about the agreement is that Beverly Hills Cop 4 hasn't actually been filmed yet. In their previous two deals with Paramount (for The Cloverfield Paradox and international rights to Annihilation), Netflix was getting a finished movie. Their decision to fund the Beverly Hills Cop sequel is a testament to not only their faith in Murphy, but their evolution as a company in general.
After twenty-five years away from the screen, Netflix could be the perfect place for Beverly Hills Cop to make its return. With the latest installments in '80s-born franchises like Terminator and The Shining struggling at the box office over the past few weeks, some analysts believe the '80s nostalgia craze is beginning to die down - something that doesn't bode well for Beverly Hills Cop (which launched in 1984). By going the way of Netflix, there's less pressure on Beverly Hills Cop 4 to break the box office. Not to mention, those who're wary about the idea of another adventure with Aexl Foley are more likely to give the sequel a look from the comfort of their home, rather than trekking out to watch it in a theater.
We will bring you more details on Beverly Hills Cop 4 as the story develops.