While we're on the subject of belated action comedy sequels, there's a new/old game afoot at Paramount. Recently cut loose from his erstwhile home at Disney, super-producer Jerry Bruckheimer has rocked up to a new deal at Paramount. First among his first-looks is the long-gestating fourth Beverly Hills Cop movie. Eddie Murphy has already signed on to return to his signature role as Axel Foley, and Brett Ratner - who's been on board since at least 2008 - is attached to direct.
Last we heard, Beverly Hills Cop was being retooled as a TV series, under the aegis of The Shield's Shawn Ryan. Barry Sonnenfeld directed a pilot that starred Brandon T. Jackson as Foley's son, with Murphy cameoing to hand over the reins and Kevin Pollak as a Beverly Hills PD lawyer. CBS declined to pick it up for a series, however. Jackson claimed it was because the show was "too edgy" for them.
So we're back once again to the plan for a fourth movie, which Deadline report will see Axel returning to his roots in Detroit (which would seem like it might cause title issues, if Beverly Hills doesn't actualy feature).
Ratner was writing the screenplay himself back in the days before the TV detour, so whether we're now talking about exactly that same project revived is unclear.
The big difference from the previous incarnation is Bruckheimer himself, who was not involved in 2008, but will presumably now be keeping a keen eye on the property that provided the Bruckheimer/Simpson partnership one of their biggest early hits.
Bruckheimer's arrival at Paramount has also shaken up the dormant Top Gun sequel, of which little has been heard since the sad death of Tony Scott last year. Tom Cruise had been discussing it with Scott, and therefore at that point was not obviously averse to more Maverick. Now? We'll see...
"Jerry Bruckheimer is one of the most creative and prolific producers in motion picture history,” said Paramount Pictures chairman and CEO Brad Grey in a prepared statement. “His signature style has attracted huge global audiences and we are thrilled to have him back in the Paramount family.”
The next released movie to bear his fingerprints will be Scott Derrickson's cop horror Beware The Night, out in the UK on August 22 next year.