Posted on October 19, 2016
Movies That Never Were – Beverly Hills Cop in London
We all loved Eddie Murphy is his breakout role as Axel Foley in Beverley Hills Cop. We lapped up the original in 1984 and we loved the sequel in 1987. Now if you remember there was a bit of a gap between II and III and the reason for that we shall get in to today as we nearly got several very, very, different versions of Beverly Hills Cop III.
The first draft of BHC3 (get used to this shorthand!) had Axel Foley and Billy Rosewood venturing to London to rescue Captain Bogomil (from BHC1) from terrorists who had taken the entire International Police Convention hostage. Scripting issues, and most notably budget concerns, caused the pre-production to drag and drag. Ronny Cox, who was keen to return to play Bogomil had to drop out to star in another film.
The next rejected idea was set once again in LA and saw Axel Foley struggle to deal with being famous whilst still being a cop. Of all the ideas I think this one had the most promise.
The producers however appeared to have their heart set on Axel-in-London as the idea for BHC3 with the next idea wanting Axel to team up with a tough Scotland Yard detective played by Sean Connery. When Connery was reluctant to sign on the the film they redrafted the charcter and sought to get John Cleese (yes Monty Python’s John Cleese) to play the Scotland Yard Detective instead. Not sure how you jump from Sean Connery to John Cleese in the casting process but there you go.
The final version we never got to see would have seen a pair of British Gangsters, based on the notorious real life Kray Twins, arrested in Detroit and have Axel escorting them back to the UK,
After that Die Hard writer Steven E. de Souza was brought in and wrote a draft that was effectively “Die Hard in a theme park.” This was the basis of the version we got to see on the screen but the original draft had a lot more action involved. Spiralling costs saw the investigation side of the story take over and left us with the BHC3 we know, and possibly love, today.
Beverly Hills Cop 4 has been in the works since the release of BHC3 back in 1994. In the mid-1990s Eddie Murphy as seeking to produce it using his own production company but it came to nothing.
In 2006 plans were again fresh a foot to make BHC4 with Eddie Murphy himself saying he wanted to make it as an apology to the fans for the released version of BHC3 being “horrible” and a film he didn’t want to franchise to end on.
In 2008 Brett Ratner came onboard as director and promised to return the films to a US “R” RAting (UK 15) rather than the watered down PG-13 (UK 12A) frolics of BHC3.
A 2009 filming date was set and the completed script was given the imaginative title Beverly Hills Cop 2009 and saw Axel Foley return to Beverly Hills to investigate the murder of Billy Rosewood as presumably they didn’t want to cast Judge Reinhold for some reason. The script was rejected and Brett Ratner, most famed for the Rush Hour Films, worked on several more versions. In a November 2010 interview with MTV he said that they still wanted to make the 4th film but it wouldn’t be “anytime soon.”
In October 2011 Eddie Murphy said he was now trying to do a pilot for Beverly Hills cop the TV Series which would see Axel as the chief of the Detroit Police and feature Axel Foley Jr, as the main character. In 2013 CBS passed on the TV series, despite a pilot being made, and that was that for Axel on TV.
In late 2013 work did, however, resume on producing a new cinema release BHC4 but on May 6th 2015 Paramount Pictures dropped the film due to script concerns.
Whether we ever actually see Beverly Hills Cop 4 is definitely up in the air but at the moment you do have to think it’s not looking likely.
Perhaps we should all just take a moment to imagine what Beverly Hills Cop 3 would’ve been like had it starred Sean Connery opposite Eddie Murphy. It certainly would’ve been interesting wouldn’t it?