Dredd and Lone Survivor producer Adi Shankar has perhaps now become even more famous for his "bootleg" projects than his feature film productions, having released such viral hit (unofficial) franchise shorts as The Punisher: Dirty Laundry and Power/Rangers online. Shankar has since launched his own Bootleg Universe Pitch Show, the latest episode of which concerns the proposed Beverly Hills Cop IV.
Beverly Hills Cop IV, as some reading this may recall, was once set to begin filming in Spring 2015, with Eddie Murphy once again playing Axel Foley and Brett Ratner directing. However, a couple months before production was supposed to start, Murphy made it public knowledge that he wasn't committed to the project yet - and it wasn't long thereafter that Paramount Pictures removed the movie from its 2016 release slate. Now, writer/producer Stephen Scaia has revealed how he would go about the task of reviving the Beverly Hills Cop property, on the newest Bootleg Universe episode.
Scaia, for those who're unfamiliar, has written for a variety of genre television shows, including Jericho, Warehouse 13, and Human Target. More recently, he served as a supervising producer on the short-lived Charlie's Angels TV show reboot and is now a writer/producer for sci-fi/crime procedural TV series Limitless. Scaia is also co-writing a film adaptation of the Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon video game series, with Michael Bay onboard as a producer (according to previous reports on the project).
You can watch the Beverly Hills Cop IV video that features Scaia's (close to) twenty-minute pitch for the film, above. Here are some of the main points that the screenwriter touches upon, during his pitch:
- RAW EDDIE MURPHY - The film needs to be an R-Rated action/comedy, with Eddie Murphy in his "Raw" mode rather than his PG-13 "The Klumps" mode (a la The Nutty Professor), as Scaia says that Murphy was always "having such a good time in a serious situation" in his earlier R-Rated work.
- THE IDEA - Axel Foley is called back to Detroit when Jeffrey (Paul Reiser) is murdered and must team with a young hotshot cop to solve the case. However, because he's spent the last thirty years or so living in Beverly Hills, Foley is a fish out of water in his old home and must prove that he's still the same great cop he once was - and hasn't gone "soft." He must also teach his younger partner how to operate according to his own code, within the constraints of the police department.
- REDISCOVERING FOLEY - Scaia notes that the Detroit that Foley would come home to would be very different than the place he left, leading him to realize that he's been in Beverly Hills for a much longer time than he thought. Foley must therefore earn back his street-cred and get back in touch with the wise-cracking police officer he used to be, while also doing his part to help restore his city to its former glory.
One of the ideas that Scaia flat-out rejects with his Beverly Hills Cop IV pitch is the notion that Foley would have settled down and had kids, by the time the film's storyline picks up. It's worth noting that the Shawn Ryan's abandoned Beverly Hills Cop TV show pilot revolved around such a concept - where Murphy's Axel Foley (now the decorated and mature Detroit Chief of Police) passes the torch to his son, played by Brandon T. Jackson.
No doubt the execution was partly to blame for CBS passing on the pilot, but it would seem Scaia's on the right track to reject a similar idea from the get-go with Beverly Hills Cop IV. That is, rather than go the Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull route and make the film a father-son adventure romp. Agree/disagree?
Beverly Hills Cop IV does not currently have a release date; we'll let you know when/if that changes.
Source: Adi Shankar