EXCLUSIVE: Beverly Hills Cop Axel Foley will come back to active duty…for Netflix. Paramount has made a one-time license deal — with an option for a sequel — that will enable Netflix to make the fourth installment of the film with Eddie Murphy and producer Jerry Bruckheimer. The studio had been developing a reboot for awhile. It is another example of studios striking inventive deals with Netflix at a time when long gestating sequels like The Shining followup Doctor Sleep, The Terminator: Dark Fate and Zombieland: Double Tap have been hard pressed to measure up to the grosses of their predecessors, with at least two of them in line to lose money because of the high cost of P&A.
This deal gives Netflix a sexy title with a big star and it gives Paramount an opportunity to reap revenue on a library title. Paramount launched the franchise in 1984 with the Martin Brest original, followed by a Tony Scott-directed second installment in 1987 and a third by John Landis in 1994.
This is the third deal between Paramount and Netflix after the streamer acquired Cloverfield: God Particle, which it launched with a surprise Super Bowl spot and a release after the 2018 game and acquired offshore rights on the Alex Garland-directed Annihilation with Natalie Portman, 17 days after its U.S. release by Paramount. Netflix made a similar deal with New Line when it took foreign on last year’s Shaft. All of those deals were for finished films; Netflix will work with Murphy and Bruckheimer to get a scripts and director and finance the Beverly Hills Cop reboot and release it on the streaming service.
It strengthens Netflix’s relationship with Murphy. Netflix’s hot new movie title has Murphy starring in the critically lauded Dolemite Is My Name, playing self-made blaxploitation star Rudy Ray Moore. Murphy has also been in discussions to return to the stand up stage for Netflix for the first time since the 1980s, when he catapulted from Saturday Night Live to become one of the world’s biggest movie and stand-up stage stars.
Paramount, in turn has Murphy starring in another sequel of one of his beloved characters, Prince Akeem in Coming To America.
Paramount has attempted numerous iterations of Beverly Hills Cop over the past few years, including an attempted TV series that Murphy was going to star in, but which never quite made it to the start line.
This sounds like a better landing place for Axel Foley.