""Beverly Hills Cop"
“”Beverly Hills Cop”

A 4th “Beverly Hills Cop” movie has been at various stages of development for several years; at one time, 3 years ago, CBS ordered a TV pilot based on the movie, and then later passed on a full series. So the TV adaptation, which was to star Brandon T. Jackson as Axel Foley’s (Eddie Murphy’s) son, never made it to air.

Initially, it appeared that the series was a lock for a pick-up, given the brand, and who was involved (notably Shawn Ryan and Eddie Murphy), as well as the fact that there was reportedly some serious competition from all 4 major networks for the series, with CBS emerging the winner of what was to be a new “Beverly Hills Cop” series.

And it is in part due to that interest in the project from all 4 major networks, that it was also reported that the series wasn’t entirely dead, and there was the possibility that it could end up on another network. That didn’t happen of course.

But soon afterward, Ryan, who was to serve as showrunner if CBS picked it up the series, posted the following to Twitter: “Good news for fans of franchise is that the pilot tested so well, it has caused Paramount to put another #BHC movie into development.”

Translation: The TV series was shelved, but the pilot tested very well that Paramount believed (and obviously still does believe) that another “Beverly Hills Cop” movie would be a good idea, and had apparently begun development on one.

What I find interesting about this revelation is that, if the pilot tested as well as Ryan says it did, why did CBS pass on it, and why did no other network want it? What am I missing here? Is it that none of them could squeeze it into their lineups? But, again, if it tested so very well, you’d think they’d all be clamoring to get their hands on it, and make it fit somewhere in their schedules.

I’d love to see the pilot episode, but I doubt that’ll ever happen.

Described as an hour-long crime procedural with strong comedic elements, the TV series was to have a similar fish-out-of-water setup as the film, and would center on Axel Foley’s son, Aaron, a blue-collar police officer, trying to make a name for himself, absent of his prominent father’s influence, and the criminals among the rich and famous in Beverly Hills he helps eliminate.

As for a 4th “Beverly Hills Cop” movie… You might remember that Eddie Murphy had pretty much buried the idea of a 4th movie, when he told Rolling Stone magazine in an interview in 2012 that “none of the movie scripts were right; it was trying to force the premise. 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.”

In that same conversation, Eddie did add that he was more interested in adapting the movie to TV, as a drama series than making a 4th movie.

But a 4th movie is what he’s signed up for, as Deadline reports this afternoon that Paramount has hired co-directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah to direct “Beverly Hills Cop 4.”

If the names of the Brussels-based filmmakers of Moroccan descent sound familiar it’s because they directed a crime drama we covered on this blog last year (and earlier this year) titled “Black.” It made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last fall, and opened in France on March 16, 2016, although no USA pick up I’m aware of at this time.

“Black” is based on the novel of the same name by Dutch author Dirk Bracke, which tells the story of Mavela, a 15-year-old member of a gang called the Black Bronx. She falls madly in love with Marwan, a charismatic member of a rival gang, known as the 1080s, and the young couple is forced to make a brutal choice between gang loyalty and the love they have for one another. TIFF described the film as “gritty realism reminiscent of epic gangster films like ‘City of God’ and ‘Goodfellas.’”

For “Beverly Hills Cop 4” the filmmakers, working with the studio, as well as producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Eddie Murphy (who saw and loved “Black,” along with Bruckheimer and Paramount execs), plan to “reframe” the franchise with “youthful energy,” as Deadline says.

A script is currently being worked on by writers Josh Appelbaum & Andre Nemec.

I assume the filmmakers might bring the same grit and edge seen in “Black” to “Beverly Hills Cop 4.” Or maybe not…

No ETA on the project yet, but this may move fast.

The 3 films in the “Beverly Hills Cop” franchise (which started out strong, but got successively worse) grossed over $735 million worldwide, and the first film was nominated for a Best Original Screenplay Oscar in 1985. It was also Murphy’s first full-fledged starring vehicle.

Check out the trailer for “Black” below: