Coming to America's Prince Akeem won't be the only classic character to soon be revisited by Eddie Murphy, as the actor is preparing to reprise the role of Axel Foley from the Beverly Hills Cop series next. After originally appearing as the character in the first movie and its two sequels, Murphy now says his next project will be Beverly Hills Cop 4. Speaking with Collider in a new interview to promote his Netflix movie Dolemite Is My Name, Murphy opened up about what's coming next in his career. Most interestingly, the actor revealed the very next film project on his slate after Coming 2 America will be filming the next Beverly Hills Cop sequel before returning to the stage to resume his stand-up career. From the interview.
"Yeah that's what we're doing after Coming 2 America. We're doing Beverly Hills Cop. Then the plan is to get back on stage and do stand-up. That's what I'll be doing mostly, is stand-up, and Beverly Hills Cop will be like - I keep saying it, these movies and Saturday Night Live is kind of like, I'm looking at it as a bookend. If I decide I just want to stay on the couch forever, I'd ended [my movie career] on a funny note."
Directed by Martin Brest, the original Beverly Hills Cop premiered in theaters all the way back in 1984. It starred Eddie Murphy as a Detroit cop seeking vengeance in Beverly Hills after his friend is murdered. Also starring in the movie are Judge Reinhold, John Ashton, Lisa Eilbacher, Ronny Cox, and Jonathan Banks. It is also known for its iconic theme song composed by Harold Faltermeyer, which is certainly one of the most recognizable movie tunes from the 80s. The movie was a tremendous hit at the box office, earning $234 million domestically to become the year's highest-grossing movie in North America. This success brought about sequels in 1987 and 1994, with each installment entertaining in their own ways.
In the years since the Beverly Hills Cop movie trilogy, multiple attempts have been made to reboot the franchise. Murphy had been teasing his desire to make a fourth movie since the mid '90s, with discussions and rumors about Beverly Hills Cop 4 carrying over into the new millennium. By 2011, Murphy seemed to have given up on the big screen sequel, announcing his plans to instead continue the story with a TV series reboot following Axel's son. After the planned TV series failed to be picked up, talks about Beverly Hills Cop 4 resumed once again, with Brett Ratner reported to be on board to direct in 2013. Once again, the project would spend another few years spinning its wheels, leading to Rattner's exit from the project. In 2017, directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah were announced as the new directors for the sequel, though updates on its progress have been mum since.
Beverly Hills Cop 4 will make for one of many iconic returns for Murphy, both as an actor and comedian. Progress on Coming 2 America has gone much more swimmingly in comparison to the Beverly Hills Cop sequel. Set to release in theaters on Dec. 18, 2020, Murphy will reprise his classic role from Coming to America along with returning co-stars Shari Headley, John Amos, Arsenio Hall, Louie Anderson, Paul Bates, and James Earl Jones. Additionally, Murphy recently confirmed his return to Saturday Night Live this December for the first time in decades and has also recently announced his plans to return to the stage to perform stand-up comedy.
With so much to look forward to from the actor and comedian in the future, it seems to be a better time than ever to be a Murphy fan. If Beverly Hills Cop 4 is going to go into production soon as Murphy is suggesting, then we'll likely see some updates on its progress sooner rather than later. In the meantime, we can all catch Murphy in Dolemite Is My Name when it premieres on Netflix on Oct. 25. You can watch the video clip of Murphy speaking about the planned sequel below, courtesy of Collider on YouTube.