Despite appearing to kick back in cinematic retirement since Beverly Hills Cop III in 1994, Axel Foley has flirted with the idea of coming back on duty several times, as Paramount in particular has tried to bring Eddie Murphy’s wisecracking cop to our screens on several occasions. Last December, news arrived that Jerry Bruckheimer had struck a deal with the studio following his split from Disney, and a key focus would be one Axel F. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio has now set a March 25, 2016 date for his return.
Brett Ratner, who has been spearheading a new film for Murphy’s character for years, is still attached to direct, with Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol writers Andre Nemec and Josh Applebaum aboard to script more witticisms and get Axel into trouble. Bruckheimer, who had an early hit with the character when he worked with Don Simpson, is naturally invested in making sure Foley returns successfully and has been overseeing the script.
Axel, of course, nearly hit smaller screens last year when The Shield’s Shawn Ryan crafted a pilot for a TV version of the series, featuring Percy Jackson’s Brandon T. Jackson as Foley’s cop son and Murphy aboard to guest-star as the older Axel, but the CBS network declined to pick it up.
To be honest, Axel’s natural home is the big screen, and though this will serve as a sort of reboot for the series, the presence of Murphy gives us reason to be hopeful. But are they planning to have him hand over the franchise keys down the line? We’d put a banana in the tailpipe of that idea.