Eddie Murphy will return to the mean streets of Detroit as Axel Foley in Beverly Hills Cop 4 (or Beverly Hills Cop IV, as it’s officially being christened).
Not only will this give fans of the series a welcome return to form — as well as a bit of good news following the failed Beverly Hills Cop pilot — but it will also bring jobs and energy to a state that has seen its fair share of trouble.
In return, the Michigan Film Office is granting Eddie Murphy and Company a $13.5 million rebate for shooting the film within its borders.
That $13.5 million number comes from an estimated $56 million in in-state expenditures as a result of filming, UPI notes.
The original Beverly Hills Cop hit theaters in 1984 and was a huge success, scoring $316 million worldwide on a budget of nowhere near that, according to Box Office Mojo.
Beverly Hills Cop II pitted Murphy against the villainous Brigitte Nielsen and managed to rake in close to $300 million worldwide.
Following that bit of success, Eddie wouldn’t return to the character of Axel Foley, street-wise Detroit cop, until seven years later on the 10th anniversary of the original.
That film — Beverly Hills Cop III — was not welcomed with the same amount of fanfare, and was largely panned by critics, though it did manage to gross $119 million worldwide on a production budget of $50 million.
Not a failure, but it was definitely a sign that reversal of fortune was underway.
When Eddie Murphy agreed to star in a Beverly Hills Cop pilot for CBS in 2013, many felt the character might once again see the light of day, but after the full production was complete, the network passed without even airing it.
Hopefully, this return to the big screen will be just what the franchise needs to work its way out of the doldrums and to the billion-dollar mark.
By our count, it has to gross about $265 million worldwide in order to earn that distinction. By getting Axel Foley back to his R-rated roots (and hopefully bringing back Judge Reinhold), we think it’s possible.
What would be disastrous, is if Murphy and Company tried to work the failed pilot into the plot line. We trust that if it wasn’t good enough for CBS, it would probably be a major flop in theaters.
No, throw out the pilot cast and story idea, make Foley the lead once again (and not just a father figure/guide to a younger character), and we may end up with something worth seeing.
What do you think about Eddie Murphy returning for Beverly Hills Cop IV — good idea, or let it rest?