Our guess is that, at this late date, no one’s going to fall for a banana in the tail pipe. Regardless, Eddie Murphy’s trouble-making cop is on his way back to the last town on Earth that wants him there. According to a story today from The Hollywood Reporter, California’s Film & TV tax credit program has revealed the name of 23 new movies being shot in the golden state, including the long-awaited Beverly Hills Cop 4. It’s been 27 years since Eddie Murphy last appeared as Detective Axel Foley in Beverly Hills Cop III which, with an almost impressively disappointing 9% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, was the dud of the trilogy.
Beverly Hills Cop 4 has been in development — in one form or another — pretty much since Beverly Hills Cop III wrapped. One early script had Judge Reinhold’s Billy Rosewood get killed off early in the film, which would have been Foley’s motivation to return to Beverly Hills, much like the shooting of Captain Bogomil (Ronny Cox) gets Eddie Murphy’s character rushing back to the west coast in 1987’s Beverly Hills Cop II. Director Brett Ratner latched on to the project for a while and jettisoned the idea of killing Rosewood, but per CinemaBlend, by the 2010’s the idea of a fourth movie was set aside in favor of a TV series starring Brandon T. Jackson. A pilot episode was shot but CBS refused to pick up the series. In 2019, Eddie Murphy told IndieWire the pilot died on the vine because while he’d appeared in the pilot, he had no interest in appearing in the series on a regular or recurring basis.
The first piece of news that seemed to get the ball rolling on the long-dormant Eddie Murphy property was when Deadline reported in 2019 that Netflix had made a deal with Paramount for the licensing rights to Beverly Hills Cop 4. As Deadline pointed out, the licensing deal was hammered out during a time when other supposedly long-awaited sequels like Doctor Sleep, Terminator: Dark Fate, and Zombieland: Double Tap had underperformed, suggesting this was part of the reason Paramount was happy to drop the hot potato in Netflix’s lap.
Of course, 2019 was also the year when we saw Eddie Murphy begin his Hollywood comeback. It was the year his biopic comedy Dolemite Is My Name made a big splash on Netflix as well as the year he made his triumphant return to Saturday Night Live. Two years later came another long-awaited follow-up: Coming 2 America.
There’s no word on whether or not any of Eddie Murphy’s other Beverly Hills Cop co-stars are set to return. Most of the cast from the first couple of films are still around including Judge Reinhold, Ronny Cox, and John Ashton (who played Sgt. Taggart in the first two films). Paul Reiser played Foley’s partner back in Detroit in the first two installments, and it’s always possible Bronson Pinchot could be lured back to play Serge — an art gallery employee in the first film with an unidentifiable accent. One of the few definite absences would be Gilbert R. Hill who played Inspector Todd in all three previous Eddie Murphy films. He played Foley’s superior back in Detroit who was always furious about his detective heading out west and causing trouble. Hill passed away in 2016 from pneumonia. He was 84 years old.