Speaking for the first time on record about his return as Sgt. John Taggart in Beverly Hills Cop : Axel F (and yep, as Moviehole reported a few months back that IS the title – not Beverly Hills Cop : Axel Foley, as has been reported elsewhere), actor John Ashton joined the Poddywood podcast to speak about the excitement of reuniting with Eddie Murphy and Judge Reinhold, in particular, but also executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer on the fourth film in the long-running series.
“Honest to god it was as if we never left”, Ashton said of reuniting with his co-stars. “It was weird.. it was like we had just worked yesterday. It was great.”
“Most of the time when Judge and Eddie and I had scenes, [Jerry] would show up.”
Ashton says he didn’t work with Paul Reiser and Bronson Pinchot, who also reprise their roles for the new film.
The 74-year-old, who didn’t return for the third film in the series (the ill-fated Beverly Hills Cop III), said that there’s pressure to really deliver a good film this time – and he felt it from the moment he stepped on the set.
“I know the pressure that everybody felt – because of past performances on the third one, and the anticipation is so high – and I felt it.”
According to Ashton, the film took so long to come together because star and producer Murphy didn’t want to reprise Axel Foley until their was a good script. This one, assures Ashton, is very good.
Further, Taggart and Rosewood aren’t just cameos.
“We are an integral part of the movie, believe me.”
Confirming his character gets involved in some physical stuff, consequently echoing his integral role, Ashton joked that they had to lay down an extra mat for him to fall on.
Speaking of cameos, Hector Elizondo, who played Sgt. Jon Flint in Beverly Hills Cop III – stepping in for Ashton, who sat that one out – won’t be back.
Said Ashton, “I have no qualms about Hector, but it would have been funny to have had a scene where I’m like “Hey, I’m back now. Fuck off.”
Ashton, who called the Beverly Hills Cop (1984) director shortly before doing the fourth film in L.A, says Australian director Mark Molloy reminded him a lot of Martin Brest.
“[Mark] said he wants to get it back to the ‘80s. Get it back to where it was”, Ashton recalls of the first meeting he had with the commercials director, who makes his feature debut on the sequel. “It has a lot of action, comedy. It may top the first one.
The film, too, should resemble Brest’s hard-R original, if the amount of F-Bombs in the film are anything to go by.
“There’s way more than one F-bomb”, assures Ashton, suggesting the film will likely not be watered-down like the last sequel in the series. “But the weird thing is, Netflix wouldn’t let [Taggart] smoke a cigar which kind of pissed me off. But we worked out something else just as funny.”
Ashton says Netflix have the rights to make a fifth film in the series if this one, which completes filming next week in Detroit, is successful.
Beverly Hills Cop : Axel F, likely due to drop on Netflix (and in theaters) sometime next year, also stars Kevin Bacon, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Taylour Paige, James Preston Rogers, and James Aviel.