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With reboots, sequels, and numerous other types of revivals dominating the Hollywood landscape these days, we have seen all sorts of projects come and go over the years. However, one particular project that has languished in development hell longer than many others is the long-awaited fourth installment in the Beverly Hills Cop franchise. We've heard rumors that the project might (or might not) be happening for quite some time, but now it looks it could finally come together -- with Channing Tatum or Tom Hardy as the film's main villain, no less.
Directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah recently made an appearance on Dutch talk show "The World Turns" and revealed that the fourth Beverly Hills Cop film might find new life under their direction. Though the project remains in the very early stages of development, these rumors suggest that it will find Eddie Murphy's Axel Foley as a seasoned Beverly Hills police officer who returns to Detroit for a case -- and subsequently butts heads with a tough as nails Detroit cop as his new partner. The pair reportedly held an "audition" for Eddie Murphy to return to his iconic role as Axel Foley, and they are currently eyeing either Kingsman: The Golden Circle star Channing Tatum, or Inception star Tom Hardy to step in as the film's central villain.
Between the two options presented by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah on "The World Turns" (via JoBlo), Channing Tatum arguably seems like the more immediately logical choice. The reason for this is simple: his resume seems to feature more straight comedies than Tom Hardy at this point. Beyond that, he has already worked in the cop comedy world before with his turns in the 21 Jump Street franchise. With Tatum's star increasingly on the rise in recent years for his work on projects like Logan Lucky, Foxcatcher, and the Magic Mike films, there's a strong case to be made that he's a smart and safe choice.
That said, it's not entirely worth ruling someone like Tom Hardy out for this particular role. Throughout its previous three installments, the Beverly Hills Cop franchise arguably leaned a bit more heavily on its action chops than other action-comedies, which means the fourth installment could benefit from the typically dark and intense sensibilities of someone like Hardy. He has played villains in the past (such as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises and John Fitzgerald in The Revenant), so bringing him onboard to play the main antagonist in the fourth Beverly Hills Cop movie would make a certain degree of sense.
Of course, looking at the big picture, we wouldn't necessarily be surprised to see a mixture of responses to this development, and we don't know if either of these exact castings will happen once the movie comes together. While there's likely a large segment of the movie-going populace that would love to see Axel Foley return to the silver screen (particularly with Eddie Murphy still cast in the role), there's also a recent tradition of long-awaited sequels (especially comedy sequels) falling short of expectations. That said, with a relatively low price tag of $50 million as its projected budget, as well as some top-notch talent potentially waiting in the wings to sign on, Beverly Hills Cop 4 has some of the necessary ingredients to work.
Make sure to stay tuned for more updates related to Beverly Hills Cop 4 as new details become available, and check out our movie premiere guide to see what else 2017 has in store on the big screen!