Director Brett Ratner (Rush Hour) and Eddie Murphy have been busy shooting Tower Heist outside the Trump International Hotel in Manhattan, which has provided Ratner countless opportunities to re-pester Murphy about suiting up in Axel Foley’s trademark blue jeans and Lions jacket for a fourth Beverly Hills Cop flick. The project has been in development limbo since 2008, and the most recent tidbit came in ’09 when it broke that a screenplay titled Dying Day from scribes Michael Brandt and Derek Haas (Wanted) would be retooled as an Axel Foley adventure. Nothing of note has surfaced since, most likely because Eddie Murphy is far less optimistic about a fourth go-around as Foley than Ratner is. Hit the jump for comments from Ratner regarding the project and the embedded MTV News interview.
When asked about the progress on Beverly Hills Cop 4, Ratner told MTV News:
“Oh yeah, believe me, I’m all over it. I am all over it”.
With respect to Murphy’s hesitation to return to the series, Ratner had this to say:
“He’s sensitive about it. He made two great ones, the third one didn’t really work. It’s an important film for him. It’s a character that’s iconic. I don’t think he goes anywhere in the world where someone — they’re not going, ‘Yo, Eddie Murphy,’ they’re like, ‘Yo, Axel Foley!’ It’s his Clark Kent. His Darth Vader. His albatross. He wants to go out with a bang… Hopefully he’ll have a great experience with me on ‘Tower Heist.”
The full interview is embedded below:
While I would hardly equate Axel Foley’s fame to that of Darth Vader’s, Beverly Hills Cop and Beverly Hills Cop II are epitomes of the 80’s buddy cop action-comedies. Despite relatively successful updates to 80’s action franchises such as Rambo and Live Free or Die Hard, I think the Beverly Hills Cop films embraced their time period more so than the aforementioned and would lose that self-aware charm if set in the world of today, particularly with a generic director like Ratner behind the wheel. Eddie Murphy can hardly be labeled picky in terms of roles as of late, but it seems clear that he’s playing his cards right this time around by keeping Ratner in check and refusing to rush into production.
Have you missed Axel Foley on the big screen? Leave your thoughts below.