It felt like decades since Eddie Murphy appeared in a truly noteworthy film. Perhaps it’s the fact that the one-time Raw comedian has mostly focused on family movies since the turn of the millennium. Or maybe it’s because so many of his films have flopped and been downright terrible in the past 15 years or so. But the Eddie Murphy many of us once loved and looked up to is due for a return to form. If things go according to plan, we may just see exactly that in 2016.
In a report on Rolling Stone, it’s been revealed that Murphy will indeed reprise his role as Axel Foley in the fourth installment of the Beverly Hills Cop series. Despite its name, though, it appears that plenty of the film will take place in Detroit, which is where the series’ previous films began.
It could be that Axel and his friends (and enemies) only begin in the Motor City this time around, too, but it apparently means some great things for the city. As noted by CBS local, approximately 352 jobs will be created when the movie begins shooting with an estimated $56.6 million being spent by the filmmaker. Speaking of, it’s being directed by Brett Ratner (Rush Hour series, 21) while Jerry Bruckheimer (Beverly Hills Cop and Bad Boys series) is the producer. While no concrete release date has been given, it’s expected that we’ll see Beverly Hills Cop IV in the first half of 2016—22 years after its predecessor.
In recognizing that he’s mostly acted family-friendly films as of late, Murphy told Rolling Stone that he’s eager to do something in line with his work in the ’80s. “I haven’t done a streety guy, working class, blue-collar character in ages,” he said in an interview back in 2011. “So maybe it’s like, ‘Oh, wow, I didn’t remember he was able to do that.'”
The same can definitely be said for his purely absurd (but smart!) comedic roles. With all these kid-oriented movies, we have rarely seen the goofy-but-adult-minded Murphy. In fact, it’s been about 15 years since then, as that was the year the highly overlooked Bowfinger hit theatres.
A 1999 film featured Murphy teaming up with fellow living comedy great Steve Martin, who portrays a down-and-out director trying to make a comeback in Hollywood. While the laughs were definitely there, go ahead and ask if anyone you know remembers this movie—it’s likely they don’t. That’s really a shame, because it’s brimming with hilarity. Writer Karen Krizanovich recognized the top-notch humour in her review of the film on the Picturebox blog in stating that “Bowfinger hasn’t aged well but it yet still contains some of the funniest scenes ever put on celluloid.” She goes on to make note of the Scientology jokes, star-heavy cast, and low-key intelligent plot.
Could it be, perhaps, that the fourth Beverly Hills Cop could begin a resurgence for Murphy? Or will it be a disappointing attempt to capture the essence he once possessed? We’ll have to wait a couple of years to find out. If all goes well, though, here’s hoping we get another Bowfinger or Nutty Professor level comedy from him.