If Eddie Murphy follows in Tom Cruise’s golden footsteps with BEVERLY HILLS COP 4, it may not help exhibitors.
Unlike Cruise’s TOP GUN: MAVERICK, which grossed over $1.4B worldwide, Murphy’s BHC: AXEL FOLEY won’t be a Paramount theatrical release. The original BHC (1984) and its 1987 & 1994 sequels were Paramount films. Netflix acquired the rights to what’s now AXEL from Paramount in November 2019 to be the first of several movies made by the studio for the streamer.
Paramount began developing the sequel way back in 2013. No one knows, at this point, if AXEL will get a theatrical release — but Netflix isn’t known for doing that. AXEL, from first-time feature director Mark Malloy, stars Murphy (also a producer), Taylour Paige & Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Like MAVERICK, one of its producers is the legendary Jerry Bruckheimer, who also was a producer (with the late Don Simpson) of Paramount’s first two BHC episodes. BHC 3 was produced by Mace Neufeld & Robert Rehme.
Like Cruise, Murphy’s an ’80s icon who still has a huge following & a high-profile sequel to drive him to new heights. Malloy, a rising talent, is a lucky guy, having replaced directors Adil El Arbi & Bilall Fallah, who directed 2020’s BAD BOYS FOR LIFE, on which Bruckheimer was a producer. They left AXEL to make BATGIRL for WB — a $90M project that was to have been an HBO Max original. Instead, it just got scrapped by Warner Discovery CEO David Zazlav.