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Eddie Murphy Says ‘Beverly Hills Cop 3’ Was Garbage. Won’t Do 4th Movie Without a Good Script + Working on ‘Bodacious’

Eddie Murphy Says 'Beverly Hills Cop 3' Was Garbage. Won't Do 4th Movie Without a Good Script + Working on 'Bodacious'

To be frank, while I understand the studio’s interest in this 4th sequel (famed franchise with built-in audiences globally, which could translate to big box office), I wish the studio and/or Eddie Murphy would kill this project, and put the series to bed for good, and move on to something else entirely new. 

But I wield no influence over Murphy or Paramount, so, ultimately, my wishes aren’t anyone’s command in this specific case. 

Plans for a “Beverly Hills Cop” TV series failed after CBS passed on the idea 2 years ago, despite word that the pilot tested so well that it caused Paramount to put another “Beverly Hills Cop” movie into development.

News of a 4th film was first confirmed in July of 2013, when it was announced that Eddie Murphy would reprise his role as Axel Foley. And a year later, in 2014, Paramount Pictures, in a 3-year deal the studio signed with super producer Jerry Bruckheimer, set a March 25, 2016 release date for the 4th film, which I thought was an odd date to release it. I would’ve pegged it for a summer debut, not a late-winter/ early-spring release. But I’m sure Paramount had its reasons.
It now looks like that date may in fact be pushed back, as the star of the film, Eddie Murphy, shared in an interview with Playboy, published just last week, February 10: “I don’t think it’s gonna happen in March, but it is gonna be in Detroit. And before it happens, they’ve got to get that script right. That movie has to be right. The third ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ was garbage. Those movies, when I travel overseas, people say [in a foreign accent] “Hey, Beverly Hills Cop! Axel Foley!” They call me that shit. All the movies I’ve done, and they call me that. If we do that movie, it has to be right. Not just thrown together to get a big check. I don’t need anymore of those.”

Yeah Eddie, neither do we! That said, I’m glad he recognizes the awfulness that was “Beverly Hills Cop 3,” easily the worst film in the franchise – one that started out strong, but got successively worse, grossing over $735 million worldwide, with the first film nominated for a Best Original Screenplay Oscar in 1985. It was also Murphy’s first full-fledged starring vehicle.

You might remember that, in late 2012, Murphy had pretty much buried the idea of a 4th movie, when he told Rolling Stone magazine in an interview that: “… none of the movie scripts were right; it was trying to force the premise. If you have to force something, you shouldn’t be doing it. It was always a rehash of the old thing. It was always wrong.”

In that same conversation, Eddie did add that, he was more interested in adapting the movie to TV, as a drama series – a series that’s no longer.  In the Playboy interview, he had this to say about that: “I was gonna be in the pilot, and they thought I should be recurring. I’m not gonna do ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ on TV. I remember when they tested it – they had this little knob that you turn if you like it or you don’t like it. So when Axel shows up in the pilot, some people turned the knob so much, they broke it. So the network decided “if he isn’t recurring, then this isn’t gonna happen.” 

I love getting the behind-the-scenes stories on these failed projects. All we knew about it when it was announced that CBS had passed on it, was just that the network had decided not to pick it up as a full series. So now we know what derailed it.

When asked whether the pilot that was audience-tested ever aired, Murphy said: “I don’t know. I just remember seeing it in the editing room. I remember this executive, when we were doing some promo stuff; he came in and said “Hey, can you do ‘the laugh’ [mimicks his own laugh] and then say ‘I’m back?’” I said, “That’s a horrible idea. They’ll think I’ve lost my mind! Eddie Murphy done gone crazy. He’s done that stupid laugh again and said he’s back.””

Hilarious! He’s right! That would’ve been really tacky – a bad idea that I’m glad Eddie realized as well.

The pilot never did air, as far as I know anyway. But I hope CBS puts it online some day, so that the rest of us can take a look at what could’ve been.

Assuming “Beverly Hills Cop 4” does eventually go into production, after Eddie is pleased with the script, it will be directed by Brett Ratner, who last directed Eddie in 2011’s “Tower Heist.”

Plot details on the 4th film are not yet public. All we know is that the story will be set in Detroit – maybe in a bid to help stimulate the economy in that ailing city. I won’t be surprised if the decay is worked into the storyline some how. 

Finally, also in the Playboy interview, Murphy reveals that he’s currently working on an animated film called “Bodacious,” which is about a champion rodeo bull whose son is the heir apparent: “His father is like the greatest rodeo bull in the history and like broke everybody’s face and neck. He’s the king of the rodeo and it’s a story about an over achieving dad who wants his son to be just like him, and [the son] who wants to do his own thing. It’s from the animal’s perspective…. I was watching the rodeo. I was like “This shit is crazy!” Bodacious was actually a real bull back in the ’80s. Bodacious was fucking people up! In the rodeo, if there’s a bull you can’t ride ‘em, it’s like a superstar bull. It’s the one sport where the animal gets to break a person apart. It’s like the animal’s revenge. If he breaks somebody into a thousand pieces, he gets to go out in the pasture, people get rich off him, they put him out to stud, and they get to breed him. I saw some of the preliminary drawings two weeks ago; it’s not going to be out for two, three years. I’m doing it with Paramount. It’s going to be really special.”

Murphy said that he’s voicing the title character, Bodacious the bull, and he’s also producing the movie, calling it a family film.

Read the full Playboy interview here.

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