Paramount has removed Beverly Hills Cop 4 from their release schedule. The film chronicling he further adventures of Detective Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) was set to hit theaters March 25, 2016, but The Wrap is reporting that the project has been delayed indefinitely. Brett Ratner is set to direct the sequel, with Jerry Bruckheimer returning as producer.
While Paramount may be making moves to avoid going head-to-head with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice at the box office, the fact that there’s no replacement release date indicates a deeper issue. Most likely, the delay is due to script concerns. Back in January, Murphy made it very clear that he’s not going to touch a Beverly HillsCop sequel until the script is in perfect form.
Murphy told Rolling Stone:
“They’re still trying to get that script right. I’m not doing a Beverly Hills Cop unless they have a really incredible script. I’ve read a couple things that look like they can make some paper. But I’m not doing a shitty movie just to make some paper. The shit got to be right.”
The following month, Murphy called Beverly Hills Cop 3 “garbage” and reiterated that he would only take on a fourth installment if the script was right, noting, quite accurately, that he didn’t need another big paycheck.
Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol) were the last writers attached to the project, which was said to return Detective Foley to Detroit during the “coldest winter on record“. As Evan pointed out when he wrote up Murphy’s first script comments, a delay on the film doesn’t necessarily reflect subpar work by Appelbaum and Nemec, and in fact it’s a good sign that Murphy doesn’t want to move forward until the script is just right.