Sunday, June 10, 2007

Beverly Hills Cop 4

ComingSoon had Lorenza di Bonaventura over for a cuppa and a nice chat, and between bicies, he revealed plans for a fourth Beverly Hills Cop film.

The first Cop was initially intended to be a Sylvester Stallone vehicle and just days before shooting, Stallone was out and Murphy was in. The changes were many and sometimes massive - though not always entirely necessary. Downgrading the love interest to a friend to avoid interracial romance was probably not a good idea, in the grand scheme of things - I doubt it even had much of an impact on the box office which was, of course, the motivation.

If I can trust my memory, Beverly Hills Cop 2 is truly woeful, even for an 80's-spun sequel. The consensus is that 3 is the worst of all, but I certainly don't remember it that way. 3 might be utterly redundant, occasionally a little desperate and, overall, insultingly formulaic but you can level every one of those claims at 2, too. At least 3 winks at the audience a little (which is a love-it-or-hate thing, I suppose), and it does seem much more attuned to Eddie Murphy's stage personality. Indeed, 2 seemed more like a Stallone film than the first did - and I wonder if some of the supporting cast are in place to acknowledge this, somehow.

A fourth Beverly Hills Cop could be a very good idea. Things have changed enough that there's new things to say, a new world to portray, and some old attitudes that won't go away and still need attention. The script would need to be founded on some realistic ideas of where Axel Foley would be these days, and how his life would have shaken out, but the appeal of Eddie Murphy in the first place could be recaptured if Eddie plays along and allows Axel to be a realistic, three-dimensional character and not bent out of shape by fear or ego (where the character in the first film was compromised by the producers and studio - pre-empting racism on the part of the audience - the threat this time could be Murphy himself).

Between wild promises of countless curious projects, Tarantino has expressed interest in making a Beverly Hills Cop sequel, and he'd be a wonderful choice. Murphy is about to collaborate with Brett Ratner - let's hope that doesn't prove to be a preface to a Cop team-up. Michael Bay would be a bad idea too, I think, as would Tim Story - even thought they seem like possible 'fanboy' choices. Some might even suggest Kevin Smith, but that idea positively reeks of development hell and those ever decreasing Fletch Won circles of struggle, delay and, ultimately, abandonment.

Add your ideas in the comments, if you wish, but I certainly wouldn't be offended by any of the following contenders: Ron Shelton, James Foley (no relation), Joseph Ruben, Robert Townsend, John Landis (again), John Dahl. Some of these may have patchy resumes, but they've shown, somewhere along the line that they can do it, and that they've a suitable outlook for Cop. What's more - they're not wildly unlikely choices for the jump-start episode of a long stagnant franchise. More immediately, though, there's going to have to be a script...


droidguy1119 said...

I would like to see Murphy more low-key, like the original. I thought it was kind of interesting, watching it just yesterday, that he actually doesn't seem "on" unless he's confronted by a bad guy and puts on a personality, which makes Axel seem perhaps more like a real person. I guess I feel that if he's just going to be the same Eddie Murphy that you could see in any movie, there's not really any point in making it a Beverly Hills Cop sequel and not, say, a 48 Hrs. movie or some new thing entirely.

I looked at my shelf for awhile and all I could think of was Peter Berg, perhaps. Iffy other choices included George Armitage (only one really good movie and he hasn't made a film since 2004) and Doug Liman (who is apparently trouble). Ignoring Gigli, maybe Brest could come back.

droidguy1119 said...

Another thought is Richard Donner.

Brendon said...

I think George Armitage was a very interesting suggestion.

Anonymous said...

you have to get the buddy cops back or this will flop. i know it sounds lame and trivial, but otherwise this will do as well as bhc3 or metro. there's way more hunger for 4 than 3, but the mixture has to be perfect.

i'd give a finger to see tarantino do this, but sadly people are too dumb to give him the reins.