We will finally see the return of Eddie Murphy as Detective Axel Foley … on television. A “Beverly Hills Cop” series sequel is in the works with Murphy and “The Shield” creator Shawn Ryan in the driver’s seats.
Murphy previously quashed ongoing rumours of a fourth “Beverly Hills Cop” film last year in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine when he said movie plans were off the table.
Despite his previous statements, the actor did hint that a television series was in the works.
Currently, both Murphy and Ryan are pitching their hour-long “Beverly Hills” spinoff to networks including ABC, Fox, NBC, and CBS, according to Deadline, seeing Murphy returning as Foley.
However, do people have any interest in another tired television adaptation, and one with Murphy in a lead role?
ABC’s attempt at rebooting late ’70s classic, “Charlie’s Angels” last year was met with sour reception after taking cues from the successful film franchise starring Drew Barrymore.
The show, which Barrymore co-produced, was cancelled after the airing of four episodes.
NBC’s “Bionic Woman” reboot met a similar fate back in 2007.
“Beverly Hills” faces two factors: whether interest for an ’80s film franchise is still there nearly 10 years after the last sequel and the sustainability of the lead actor’s mainstream popularity.
Movie-goer interest in the film franchise has waned with each new sequel.
Compare the box office earnings of the three films:
Worldwide Gross Opening Weekend
“Beverly Hills Cop” (1984): $316.3 million $15.2 million
“Beverly Hills Cop II” (1987): $299.9 million $26.3 million
“Beverly Hills Cop III” (1994): $119.2 million $12.4 million
In addition, a look at ill-fated hour-long “Charlie’s Angels” may suggest the potential action comedy may lend itself better in a half-hour slot.
As for Murphy, the actor hasn’t been a Hollywood favourite at the box office in the past few years.
His latest film, “A Thousand Words,” in which Murphy can only say that number of words before his death, was the latest film to receive a score of zero on film ranking site Rotten Tomatoes.
Taking “Shrek” films out of the formula, Murphy’s films have seen a decline in success at theatres since 2003’s “Daddy Day Care” and “The Haunted Mansion.”
Here’s a look at the worldwide grosses of his past six films:
“Norbit” (2007): $159.3 million
“Meet Dave” (2008): $50.6 million ($11.8 million domestic)
“Imagine That” (2009): $22.9 million
“Tower Heist” (2011): $152.9 million ($78 million domestic)
Granted, Murphy’s 2006 “Dreamgirls” grossed more than $103 million domestically; however, audiences flocked to theatres to see Beyoncé and Jennifer Hudson‘s debut film instead of the comedian in a serious role.
When the show inevitably takes off, what will it be about?
Murphy originally told Rolling Stone a TV show would focus on Foley’s son with Axel as the chief of police.
“I’d do the pilot, show up here and there. None of the movie scripts were right; it was trying to force this premise,” said Murphy. “If you have to force something, you shouldn’t be doing it. It was always a rehash of the old thing. It was always wrong.”
Hopefully, this time, Murphy got it right.
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