You’ll remember a couple of years back hearing that Brett Ratner had chosen Michael Brandt and Derek Haas’ script for “Beverly Hills Cop 4” script to provide the backbone for his long-proposed Axel Foley comeback film.
Here’s what I wrote about that at the time :
If you’re going to make a new “Beverly Hills Cop” movie you don’t kill off its most beloved character – next to Axel – within the first five minutes of the film!
But that’s indeed what Brett Ratner’s upcoming “Beverly Hills Cop 2009″ plans to do, by killing Judge Reinhold’s much-loved character Billy Rosewood off (by the sounds of it, they won’t even need Reinhold!).
Latino Review got their hands on some story details for the new film and reported that the guts of the movie will fix on Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) trying to find out who killed Billy.
Says the site, “It’s been 15 years since Axel Foley was last in Beverly Hills, and screenwriters Michael Brandt and Derek Haas needed a good reason to bring him back. That reason comes just a couple of pages into the latest script for Beverly Hills Cop IV (which calls itself Beverly Hills Cop 2009) – Judge Reinhold’s Billy Rosewood takes a leap out the 20th story of the Los Angeles Police HQ. When Axel hears that his former partner and best buddy became sidewalk salad he knows it wasn’t a suicide and he flies to Beverly Hills to get all the facts for himself.”
”It turns out that Billy was learning about a group of corrupt LAPD officers who were involved with gun running with a Beverly Hills rich kid who has ties to the military. The mystery isn’t that big a deal, and Axel mostly gets from place to place by half-assedly conning people. He makes up a fake story about who he is and then doesn’t follow through on it. It’s like Brandt and Haas saw the first BHC and just didn’t have the energy to write anything that matched up to it”.
Rosewood is one of the series’ high-points, he always brings the laughs and a certain sweetness to each movie. You don’t kill that character off – you’ll lose the audience (fuck, if anyone, kill of that Serge character, played by Bronson Pinchot! or maybe even Ronny Cox’s Lt. Andrew Bogomil!?).
Brandt and Haas’ script is no longer being used. And neither, so it seems, is another draft of the script (by some other unnamed writer) that was commissioned shortly after the first libretto was rejected.
So the good news is, Billy Rosewood may now end up living. The bad news is, Eddie Murphy may be 76 by the time the film gets made.
Director Ratner spoke to Collider about how fast – heh – things are progressing on “Beverly Hills Cop 4” :
There’s always been a lot of talk about another Beverly Hills Cop and Rush Hour…Ratner: I don’t think there will ever be another Rush Hour unless it’s Grumpy Old Rush Hour or get the children of Jackie and Chris to make a Rush Hour. I think there will probably be another Beverly Hills Cop but I think more so now than before because Eddie and I now have a rapport and I think it’s a film that…he was very precious about Axel Foley, less than a movie like Tower Heist, which is an original. But everywhere in the world he goes, someone’s like, “Yo, Axel!” So I think it’s easier because now I know him so well that I can really get him to come around on some of the ideas that have been pitched out.
How close are you as far as a script for Beverly Hills Cop 4?
Ratner: We’re not close, but I’m hoping in the next few years there will be one. Eddie and I are even setting up some more of his ideas. I’m hoping that we have a long, fruitful relationship. We’re both still very young, believe it or not. Eddie’s only 50 years old, so I think we have a little bit of time to come up with a great Beverly Hills Cop.
Is there a chance that you guys could ever pair for an R-rated movie?
Ratner: It would be Beverly Hills Cop. Or it would have to be a movie that was a big piece of business, like a Beverly Hills Cop, or an original idea that was like an independent kind of film.
I’m a huge fan of the “Beverly Hills Cop” franchise so would love nothing more to see another come to fruition, so long as a) Axel Foley’s still young enough to actually be a cop in it and b) They let Billy live.