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Beverly Hills Cop 4 is one of those mythical sequels that existed in the same rarefied air once inhabited by the likes of Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull and Live Free Or Die Hard, waiting around for decades for rumor to become reality. That all changed when its prospects for production ramped up last year, with both a release date and a director attached to the project. At least, that what we were lead to believe before Eddie Murphy gave an update on the status of the long-awaited sequel.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Eddie Murphy was asked point blank about whether Beverly Hills Cop 4 was currently filming. After all, the film is technically scheduled to be released on March 25th, 2016; and it'd have to be in production within the near future to make that date. Long story short, it looks like that release date will be changing at some point, and for very good reason. Murphy told the magazine,
"They['re] still trying to get that script right. I’m not doing a Beverly Hills Cop unless they have a really incredible script. I’ve read a couple things that look like they can make some paper, but I’m not doing a shitty movie just to make some paper. The shit got to be right."
A big name star holding up the development of a major property like Beverly Hills Cop 4 isn't unheard of, so Eddie Murphy's claims of waiting for a good enough script seem pretty legitimate. However, with a track record of films like Imagine That, A Thousand Words, and even The Adventures Of Pluto Nash, it's a little difficult to take that caveat about not doing a film for the money seriously. Unless Meet Dave had a wildly different first draft that told an existential story about the search for life among the stars. You know how re-writes go.
Speaking of re-writes, it looks like Beverly Hills Cop 4 is going to need a script doctor, or at least some extra work from previously announced writers Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec if it even hopes to be released in the next couple of years. It seems like director Brett Ratner isn't going anywhere at the moment, and is still attached to helm the project Like him or not, his early filmography reflects a very Beverly Hills Cop-esque style, especially with his work on the Rush Hour films that would have starred Murphy if they were released a good decade earlier. Considering Murphy and Ratner could use an easy win for both of their careers, you can bet that Beverly Hills Cop 4 will be working as hard as it can to overcome the hurdles between now and existence on celluloid.
In the meantime, perhaps what Paramount should be doing is figuring out how the failed Beverly Hills Cop TV pilot can fit in with the film it helped get made. Assuming its already complete and in the can, perhaps the TV version could make for a good stop gap measure to keep fans warmed up for the return of Axel Foley - as well as spawn a limited series event that could lead up to the next film (a la Marvel's Agent Carter). Beverly Hills Cop 4 isn't dead just yet, but if it's not careful it might wind up in the graveyard we wish Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull did. It's happened before, and it could happen again.