Axel Foley is about to be back on the beat: Beverly Hills Cop 4 is among the nearly two-dozen projects receiving millions of tax credit incentives from California. The Netflix and Paramount Pictures sequel, again starring Eddie Murphy as wise-cracking Detroit cop Axel Foley, will cop nearly $15.8 million from the California Film Commission (via Deadline) and is estimated to generate in-state spending of $78 million. In 2019, Netflix licensed the rights from Paramount to move forward with the long-gestating Beverly Hills Cop 4, reuniting Murphy and franchise producer Jerry Bruckheimer for one more movie with an option for a sequel.
Directing duo Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah — who revived Will Smith and Martin Lawrence's Bad Boys franchise with Bad Boys for Life for Sony — are still attached to direct BHC4 from writers André Nemec and Josh Appelbaum (Paramount's Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, the rebooted Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). Murphy previously confirmed he would reprise the Axel Foley role after Coming 2 America, the 33-years-later sequel Paramount sold to Amazon for a streaming-only release.
"They've been trying to make another Beverly Hills Cop for 15 years now," Murphy told Desus & Mero this past March. "Right now, Netflix has it, and they're trying to develop a script. That's what we're supposed to be doing next. But I'm not doing nothing until the script is right."
The 1984 Beverly Hills Cop marked Murphy's first solo leading role after starring in hit comedies 48 Hrs. and Trading Places. After rising to fame on Saturday Night Live, Murphy returned for director Tony Scott's 1987 sequel Beverly Hills Cop II and the John Landis-directed Beverly Hills Cop III in 1994.
A fourth film, from Rush Hour and X-Men: The Last Stand director Brett Ratner, failed to get off the ground between 2008 and 2010. A planned television series focused on Foley's son, with Murphy's Foley showing up "here and there" as Detroit's chief of police, was similarly DOA.
"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."
Netflix is already home to Dolemite Is My Name, Murphy's well-received comedy about Rudy Ray Moore. The streamer has not set a release date for Beverly Hills Cop 4.
Beverly Hills Cop, Beverly Hills Cop II, and Beverly Hills Cop III are currently available for streaming on HBO Max.