Is Eddie Murphy bringing back "Beverly Hills Cop" and returning to television?
The 51-year-old actor is hoping to reprise his role of the Detroit detective Axel Foley in a television adaptation of the action-comedy film franchise, according to Deadline. He and Shawn Ryan, creator of the show "The Shield" and the new ABC series "Last Resort," have already pitched the project to major networks such as ABC and FOX and want to serve as executive producers, the website said.
The parties have not confirmed the news. Murphy starred in three "Beverly Hills Cop" action films, the last of which was released in 1994. The second was directed by "Top Gun" director Tony Scott, who died early this month. The movies made a total of $735 million.
Deadline says the new TV project centers on Foley's son, who "moves to Beverly Hills to escape the shadow of his legendary dad." Murphy is set to reprise his old role with "occasional recurring guest appearances."
If the project is picked up, it would mark Murphy's television acting return since he left "Saturday Night Live" in 1984 to begin what has become a successful movie career. He went on to star in one of the most iconic comedy films of all time, "Coming To America," with Arsenio Hall, and also appeared in film franchises such as "Doctor Dolittle" and "The Nutty Professor" and also starred in "Dreamgirls."
He also provides the voice of Donkey in the "Shrek" movies and voiced characters on shows such a "The PJs" and "Father of the Pride." Several of his most recent movies, "Meet Dave," "Imagine That" and "A Thousand Words" tanked at the box office, although last year's "Tower Heist" made $152 million worldwide.
Murphy told Rolling Stone last year that plans to make a fourth "Beverly Hills Cop" movie were halted, without specifying why. He said: "What I'm trying to do with 'Beverly Hills Cop' now is produce a TV show starring Axel Foley's son, and Axel is the chief of police now in Detroit. I'd do the pilot, show up here and there."
"None of the movie scripts were right; it was trying to force this premise," he told the magazine. "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."
While the first "Beverly Hills Cop" was a box office smash and even earned an Oscar nomination for its screenplay, losing to the 1984 Sally Field movie "Places in the Heart," Murphy recalled the several "horrible reviews" given to "Beverly Hills Cop."
"Back then I would listen and trip," he told Rolling Stone. "Now I don't listen to anything. I haven't read a newspaper in 20 years. I don't look at the computer or anything. You have to have a filter on what you let in."
The news comes after a February report that said Murphy was interested in starring in a sequel to another 1980s hit film - "Twins." The new film would reportedly see Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito reprise their roles as experimentally-conceived twin brothers Julius and Vincent, while Murphy would play their newly-discovered brother.