The long-gestating Beverly Hills Cop 4 is still alive but seemingly re-entering the depths of development hell. Paramount, which had previously booked the fourquel for March 25, 2016, has removed the pic from its schedule and is not re-slotting it, suggesting that the project is no longer on track for completion, if it ever was.
Brett Ratner is still set to direct the film, which would revisit Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) and continue the detective’s misadventures at an undetermined point down the line. Murphy has been candid in the past about issues with the script and wanting to get it perfect before moving forward:
“I don’t think it’s gonna happen in March, but it is gonna be in Detroit. And before it happens, they’ve got to get that script right. That movie has to be right. The third Beverly Hills Cop was garbage. Those movies, when I travel overseas, people say [in a foreign accent] ‘Hey, Beverly Hills Cop! Axel Foley!’ They call me that s**t. All the movies I’ve done, and they call me that. If we do that movie, it has to be right. Not just thrown together to get a big check. I don’t need anymore of those.”
Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol) were the last writers associated with the script, which was rumored to find Foley returning to Detroit during the “coldest winter on record.” Murphy’s comments are likely not a reflection of unsatisfactory work on their part, but more a general determination to get the project’s tone exactly right.
Of course, the previous release date would have seen Beverly Hills Cop 4 go up against Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, so Paramount moving it out of that slot would have happened eventually, but that no other date has been pinpointed suggests a lack of progress with it. Especially because there’s really no logical reason to revisit the franchise at this point, all involved are sure to be treading carefully with the story.