Bad Boys for Life directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah confirm their continued involvement with Beverly Hills Cop 4 with returning star Eddie Murphy for Netflix. The directing duo — who were attached to the long-delayed sequel in 2017, before they reunited Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in the hit Bad Boys threequel earlier this year— are working with a screenwriter to develop a story for the fourth movie again starring Murphy as street-smart hero cop Axel Foley, a Detroit native who has so far thrice travelled to Beverly Hills, California, while investigating crimes.
"We're still involved in that project, and there's a screenwriter now on it that's going to try to write a first draft, or a first treatment at least with the story," Arbi told Digital Spy. "So we're going to see what the first version will be, but we're very excited and hope that we can work with another icon like Eddie Murphy. That'd be great."
The 1984 original movie, directed by Martin Brest and co-starring Judge Reinhold, was among Arbi's favorite movies as a kid. "It was the quintessential Jerry Bruckheimer movie – a buddy-cop, humor action movie," he said of the prolific franchise producer now developing the fourth movie. "Bad Boys is a Beverly Hills Cop kind of movie. And of course, Eddie Murphy is an idol."
After Rush Hour and X-Men: The Last Stand director Brett Ratner struggled to get Beverly Hills Cop 4 off the ground between 2008 and 2010, Murphy revealed he would produce a continuation of the franchise in the form of a television series starring Foley's son. The elder Foley would appear in the pilot but only "show up here and there" as Detroit's chief of police.
"None of the movie scripts were right; it was trying to force the premise," Murphy told E! News in 2011. "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."
Actor Brandon T. Jackson, who portrayed Foley's son in the never aired Beverly Hills Cop pilot, compared the hour-long police procedural to the Will Smith-starring Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. After CBS passed on the pilot in 2013, Murphy said in 2019, "I was in the pilot, but they wanted me to be there every week. The pilot was really good."