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It appears that the revived antics of Eddie Murphy’s perpetual fish-out-of-water Detroit detective, Axel Foley will have to wait for another date to be determined. It is being reported that the long-planned Beverly Hills Cop 4 has been taken off the release schedule over at Paramount. The film, which was to relaunch the popular 80’s action/comedy franchise with director Brett Ratner, now hangs back in limbo.
According to a report from The Wrap, Paramount Pictures, like an irate police captain, has taken the badge of Beverly Hills Cop 4 and put it on a proverbial suspension. No reason for the move has been revealed, and the sequel does remain in development, according to the report. It’s actually a fortuitous reprieve, since the film’s planned March 25, 2016 release date would have directly put it against some caped, Krypton-powered competition with the launch of comic book crossover event, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
The move by Paramount to strip Beverly Hills Cop 4 from the schedule might be disappointing to moviegoers who were anticipating a nostalgic new take on the franchise that made Eddie Murphy the coolest man on the planet during a period of time when folks tucked the cut of their acid wash jeans into obnoxiously large high-tops. However, given recent rumblings -- notably from Eddie Murphy, himself -- the news is hardly a surprise. In January, Murphy revealed to Rolling Stone that the script was still in a state of creative flux, as he stated in the most unambiguous of terms:
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.
Not long after that, he would make statements further implying the inevitability of a delay when he told Playboy that the rumored summer 2015 shoot window was off the table, which would obviously leave the March release date beyond any realistic expectation. Thus, it has been quite apparent, based on Eddie Murphy’s interviews, that the film’s issues center on the script. He seems especially intent on avoiding a repeat of 1994’s tepid trip down memory lane, Beverly Hills Cop III. On multiple occasions, Murphy has attributed the failure of that film to the script, and he clearly want to ensure that the script for this fourth film serves as the perfect comeback vehicle for his rollercoaster of a career.
With that in mind, it’s difficult to say where that leaves said script by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol scribe Josh Appelbaum. At this point, determining the cause of this latest dilatory development with the project would center on speculation. For all we know, the delay might have simply been logistical for the production. However, it could be the case that Eddie Murphy decided to bring things back to drawing board, completely scrapping the Appelbaum script. Regardless, it does appear that fans will have to wait an unspecified time longer to do the Neutron Dance with Eddie Murphy’s loquacious mustachioed lawman.