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As Eddie Murphy gears up for a possible return to his star-making vehicle with Beverly Hills Cop 4, the comedic icon is also preparing his money-making voice for what could be another successful family friendly animated adventure based on the story of a real-life, brutal, but celebrated rodeo bull called Bodacious. Besides voicing the titular taurus, Murphy, also serving on the film as a producer, recently recalled the story of how he was able to wrangle the film rights from an old southern lady. By lying to her… about bull balls! (Do I have your attention?)
In a recent interview with Playboy, which also yielded updates on Beverly Hills Cop 4, Murphy would broach the subject of the Bodacious project, which looks to get him back to his Shrek wheelhouse. It seems that Murphy had to go through a bit of a negotiation process with the owners of Bodacious the Bull, who passed away in 2000. The creative issue at hand for the woman that Murphy described as "a little old lady?" Anatomical accuracy, which may have forced Murphy, by clear necessity, to make a promise that he can’t likely keep. As Murphy recounts:
I’m producing and I’ll be the voice of Bodacious. We had to go buy the rights from the people that owned the original Bodacious. It was this old southern lady and she was like, 'We saw another [animated] movie that came out with bulls, and they didn’t have any balls. Bulls have balls! That was her one prerequisite: That if we did this movie, the bulls have balls. I don’t know… this is a family film. This little old lady is gonna be like, 'Where are the balls in this cartoon?!'
While it’s difficult to discern exactly how much tension was present in this conversation between Murphy and the "little old lady," her recalcitrance regarding Rocky Mountain Oysters seemed to have the negotiations at a standstill. Most likely, though, the story in question might simply be a humorous anecdote and Murphy simply left out the part where the old lady was made to understand that a family friendly film about a talking cartoon bull could not feasibly show testicles bobbling to and fro while he belts out musical numbers and teaches kids life lessons draped in miscellaneous pop-culture references that go over their heads. Thus, the question of whether or not the rights over Bodacious were acquired by ill-gotten means is probably just a humorous aside. Unless it’s not, and an elaborate lawsuit over "bull balls" takes the entertainment trades by storm!
While the subject of rodeo bulls might seem to be an oddly eccentric topic for anyone not in cowboy boots, spitting chew on the ground every few seconds, the details of the animal’s life actually caught Eddie Murphy’s attention; especially with the almost-prize-fighter-like concept that Bodacious spent a career breaking riders into pieces and would eventually be rewarded later in life being put out to stud.
Bodacious is known in rodeo circles as the greatest bull in history; a bovine Babe Ruth, if you will. Why, one may ask? Because of his unique ability to buck off riders and BREAK THEIR FACES. Bodacious is known for being the most dangerous bull in the game, severely injuring several riders. Breaking facial bones was his specialty and, in one instance, a rider named Scott Breding, who took the precaution of wearing a hockey mask while riding him, still managed to leave the experience with a broken nose and busted eye socket after a headbutt from Bodacious.
It all sounds pretty brutal, but the animated Bodacious feature will likely be an upbeat, positive story about a talking bull who is forced to overcome obstacles, makes friends with other anthropomorphic animals…and break peoples’ faces while swinging his testicles in your face. (Okay, maybe not those last things. Maybe.)
No release date has been set for this bit of ball-swinging, face-breaking family fun.