Comedy icon will revive his starmaking action franchise
Another day, another comedy nostalgia property lurches back to life. It was only a few weeks ago that Robin Williams boarded Mrs. Doubtfire 2, a sequel to a popular comedy he'd made in 1993, and now Eddie Murphy is getting in on the action by signing on to the long-gestating third sequel to Beverly Hills Cop, the 1984 action-comedy classic widely viewed as the film that launched him as one of the biggest box-office stars of the era.
Brett Ratner (Rush Hour, X-Men: The Last Stand) will direct from a screenplay by Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec, who were also the writers most-recently credited on Michael Bay's TMNT reboot. While it will be the fourth film in the franchise, the plan thus far is apparently to title it simply Beverly Hills Cop with no additional number or subtitle, which should make things nice and confusing for search-engines.
The original 1984 film was a fish-out-of-water comedy wherein Murphy's streetwise Detroit detective Axel Foley chases a criminal to Beverly Hills, California; where his methods and attitude clash with the wealthy, pampered residents and a police force inexperienced in with either serious crimes or serious crime-fighters. A 1987 sequel shocked some critics with ramped-up levels of violence, while a third installment in dialed things back to a PG13 (with Foley investigating a conspiracy in a Disney World-style theme park) in 1994 when Murphy had become better known for family comedies.
Last year, CBS commissioned but ultimately rejected the pilot for TV series spin-off that would've followed the exploits of Foley's son Axel Junior, with Murphy appearing in cameos. It is not known whether this new film will incorporate any elements of that storyline.