Guess Who’s returning to Beverly Hills?

With Lorenzo DiBonaventura in the passenger seat


Looks like Eddie Murphy’s comeback is in full swing…

Hot on the heels of his performance in “Dreamgirls”, Variety confirms that the funny man is in deep talks to reprise his role as wisecracking copper Axel Foley in a fourth “Beverly Hills Cop” film.

Granted, the film has been in the “idea” stage for about a decade now – you wouldn’t believe the number of writers that have been on it; I even had something small to do with it back in ’01 – but word is, we’re a hop, skip and a jump away from a start date. They’re seeking a writer at the moment.

Lorenzo DiBonaventura (“The Transformers”) is apparently producing. It’s his first collaboration with the Murphster.

The first two pics in the franchise, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and his former partner Don Simpson, did enormous box office.

“Beverly Hills Cop,” released in 1984, grossed more than $234.7 million domestically and another $81 million overseas. The next installment, released in 1987, took in more than $153.6 million in the U.S. and another $146 million overseas.

The franchise ran into trouble with the release of “Beverly Hills Cop III” in 1994. Pic grossed only $44 million domestically.

Bruckheimer wasn’t involved with the third entry and won’t be a producer on “Beverly Hills Cop IV” considering everything else he has on his plate. (I can tell you that he actually was going to do it though – but gave the project the birdie when he couldn’t find a script he liked).

Di Bonaventura, who has a producing deal at Par, said it will be a challenge to do the fourth installment as well as the previous films.

“Axel Foley is one of the great action-comedy characters, a character that Eddie loves. I’m lucky enough to help bring it back,” di Bonaventura said. “This genre is missing from the landscape.”

Hopefully there will be more news on this one after the Silly season.