It's been 22 years since Beverly Hill Cop III was released, but during much of that interim period, numerous attempts have been made to release a fourth adventure starring Eddie Murphy's lovable cop character, Axel Foley. Alas, all have encountered various obstacles that have stalled its creation. Now it appears the project is finally getting some meaningful traction, as a Belgian directing duo as been brought aboard to helm Beverly Hills Cop 4...or would it be IV?
Paramount has hired Black directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah to oversee the fourth Beverly Hills Cop movie, working off a script penned by writers Josh Appelbaum & Andre Nemec. Both Eddie Murphy and producer Jerry Bruckheimer were impressed by the duo's work, and were also pleased to learn that the original Beverly Hills Cop movie meant a lot to the two men. Their addition is meant to "reframe a venerable franchise with youthful energy." The Deadline report also notes Beverly Hills Cop 4 will take Axel Foley back to "his Detroit origins," but we find it hard to believe that he won't be seen in Beverly Hills for at least a little bit. Production is expected to begin either at the end of the year or in early 2017.
The last time Beverly Hills Cop 4 had a director attached was back in 2008 when Rush Hour's Brett Ratner was hired. However, by 2010, little progress had been made, and a year later, Eddie Murphy said that the movie was dead. Following this temporary scrapping, there was a Beverly Hills Cop TV series in development at CBS in 2013, but the pilot was shelved that same year due to various issues. This reignited interest in seeing the series continue on the big screen, prompting Beverly Hills Cop 4 being explored again. It was originally supposed to come out this past March, but was delayed due to script issues. By the time the movie comes out, it will have been approximately 35 years since Axel Foley came to California in the first movie for comedic, action-packed hijinks, so it'll be interesting to see how he's doing in the present day, whether he's still on his own or mentoring a younger protagonist.
Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah's Black earned many positive reviews, including earning a Discovery Award at the Toronto Film Festival last year, but Beverly Hills Cop 4 will definitely propel their careers to new heights if all goes well. However, this could be an even bigger deal for Eddie Murphy. Aside from the Shrek movies, he hasn't had a comedy hit in over a decade, with movies like Norbit and Tower Heist earning mixed to negative reviews. Assuming it's handled with the right care from the creative team, Beverly Hills Cop 4 could not only be one of the few successful comedy sequels, but it also might give Murphy's career a welcome boost.
Beverly Hills Cop 4 hasn't been assigned a release date yet, but we'll keep you apprised of any updates regarding its development.